Enrolled Agent CE Requirements

December 3, 2021
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In order to maintain your status as an EA you will be required to stay up to date with new tax laws and policies. EAs have some of the highest authority available when representing their clients before the IRS. They are held to a high standard because of this.

TxSEA works with members to provide convenient and interesting options for continued education credits. Whether you are a brand new Enrolled Agent or have spent decades helping tax payers, our seminars and education courses can help you stay on top of your required education.

The IRS has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about CE credits below:

  1. How many continuing education hours must enrolled agents obtain?

Enrolled agents must obtain 72 hours of continuing education every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be on ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider.

  1. I applied during an enrollment cycle, how many continuing education credits must I complete?

If your initial enrollment occurs during an enrollment cycle, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying continued education credits per month AND 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits per year. When your new enrollment cycle begins, you will be required to satisfy the full 72-hour continuing education credit requirement.

Example: If you enroll in year 2 of an enrollment cycle in May, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying education credits for each month (May (2), June (2), July (2), August (2)…etc. until the end of the enrollment year(s); in addition to completing 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits for each year. Your result would be, 40 hours of CE credits with 4 hours of ethics credits for the enrollment cycle.

  1. I enrolled in year 3 of an enrollment cycle in the month of November and my social security number ends with a five (5). How many CPE credits must I complete?

You are required to complete four (4) CPE credits for November and December of the 3rd year; of which two (2) must be completed in Ethics courses. Your next renewal cycle 2011-2014 you will be required to complete a minimum of 72-hours of continuing education credits which encompasses three (3) calendar years. (Note: a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education credits, of which 2 credits must be on ethics, must be completed during each enrollment year of an enrollment cycle.)

  1. I enrolled in year 2 of an enrollment cycle in the month of March and my social security number ends with a seven (7). How many CPE credits must I complete?

Due to the month and year that you enrolled, you are required to complete 44 CPE credits before December 31, 2011. Your next renewal cycle beginning 2012-2015, you will be required to complete a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education credits.

  1. I enrolled in year 1 of an enrollment cycle in the month of January and my social security number ends with a one (1). How many CPE credits must I complete?

Due to the month and year that you enrolled, you are required to complete 72 CPE credits before December 31, 2012. (Note: a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education credits, of which 2 credits must be on ethics, must be completed during each enrollment year of an enrollment cycle.)

  1. I was unable to complete the minimum continuing education credits required during an enrollment cycle, due to extenuating circumstances.

Refer to Section 10.6(j) of Treasury Department Circular 230 to determine if you meet the qualifications to request a waiver of continuing education requirements.

  1. What are the record keeping requirements for EAs and ERPAs? (revised 10/19/15)

Preparers must retain the following records for four years:

  • The name of the CE Provider organization;
  • The location of the program;
  • The title of the program, approval number received for the program, and copy of the program content;
  • Written outlines, course syllabi, textbook, and/or electronic materials provided or required for the program;
  • The date(s) attended;
  • The credit hours claimed;
  • The name(s) of the instructor(s), discussion leader(s), or speaker(s), if appropriate; and
  • The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider
  1. How does a preparer know that they are taking CE from an IRS-approved provider? (revised 9/14/16)

They should look at the public listing. Approved providers may also show the “IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider” logo. In addition, all providers are issued a Provider Number from the IRS.

  1. Do I need to send my Certificates of Completion from programs I’ve taken to the IRS? (revised 4/25/12)

No. Any programs you’ve taken from an IRS-approved CE Provider will be reported to the IRS by the Provider. You will be able to view your completed CE credits through your online PTIN account later in 2013.

  1. How can I ensure that I receive credit for the programs that I take? (revised 9/14/16)

Follow these steps:

  1. Attend a program from an approved IRS CE Provider.
  2. Give the provider your correctly spelled name and PTIN (PXXXXXXXX).
  3. Double-check that the PTIN you provide matches the PTIN in your welcome letter or online PTIN account.
  4. Beginning in mid-2013, you can check your online PTIN account to see a display of the 2013 CE programs reported to the IRS for you by providers.

Note: CE programs attended for 2012 will never appear in your online PTIN account. The IRS is allowing PTIN holders to self-attest to meeting the 2012 CE requirement.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

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