If you are currently representing taxpayers and helping clients with taxes, becoming an enrolled agent (EA) may be the best career option for you. The IRS empowers EAs with a wide range of useful tools unavailable to most other tax preparers.
EAs can speak on a client’s behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities. The credential allows EAs to handle nearly any situation that may arise in the case of a taxpayer.
EAs are held to a very high standard, as IRS employees they must pass a background check and practice before the IRS with high ethical standards.
Enrolled agent certification comes with countless benefits. The credential raises your profile, opens new career doors, attracts work, and gives you confidence in your abilities as an accountant. Whether you work as a tax preparer or accountant or simply want to move into the field of tax preparation, becoming an EA bestows credibility on your enterprise. Several other benefits of passing the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) follow below.
- Earning Potential: When it comes to tax preparation, you can do everything a client needs once you become an enrolled agent. Because you can argue tax law, discuss audits with the IRS, deal with the IRS collections department, and make appeals, you can provide a full gamut of services. Not everyone can provide these services, which puts you in high demand and a position of great earning potential.
- Jack of All Taxes: An enrolled agent can do almost anything in the world of tax preparation. They can handle collections issues, answer questions on behalf of clients, file appeals, and make challenges to the IRS. This freedom enables credential holders to fully represent clients in a way that only EAs and CPAs can.
- National Credentials: The “EA” by your name represents a federal designation handed down by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In other words, it allows you to work anywhere in the country. This contrasts with CPA licensure, which is state-specific with limitations and restrictions. Clients know that enrolled agents can work across state lines without hassle.
- Certified Expertise: “EA” represents the highest level of professionalism in the field of tax preparation. Clients can take comfort in the knowledge that you really know the ropes, just as patients recognize that “MD” indicates a certain level of attainment in the field of medicine.
- Job Stability: Governments will not stop levying taxes any time soon, so as an EA you enjoy a steady flow of work from individuals, tax-prep firms, law firms, accounting firms, and all manners of corporations. Virtually everyone must pay taxes of some sort, and the ever-changing tax code means even more job security for enrolled agents.
How Do I Become An Enrolled Agent?
-Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
-Visit Prometric’s Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) web page to schedule your test appointments, review the SEE Candidate Information Bulletin PDF, sample test questions, and other test preparation resources. Achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE* within three years. This is the enrolled agent exam and is the most difficult part of the process.
-Apply for enrollment and pay enrollment fee electronically using Pay.gov Form 23 or by downloading Form 23, PDF Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service (PDF) and mailing the completed form and a check to the IRS.
-Pass a suitability check, which will include tax compliance to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities; and criminal background.
Continued Education Requirements For EAs
Professionals who reach the status of Enrolled Agent must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education (CE) courses every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be focused around ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider for these credits to be counted.
Joining TxSEA provides tax professionals with many excellent benefits. Members will be given ample opportunities to network with other tax professionals in their state and local area. These networking opportunities will include group discussions covering new tax laws and policies and continued education courses to keep your license current.
Our organization has online and in-person webinars that are designed to help you improve your business and stay up to date with your licensing. We work with the National Association of Enrolled Agents to help spread information and promote opportunities they provide for all Enrolled Agents.
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.