Thinking about a career in the tax field? Consider becoming an enrolled agent!
What is an enrolled agent?
Enrolled agents (EAs) are America’s tax experts. They are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who both specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agents have earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the IRS by passing a comprehensive three-part examination or by having experience as a former IRS employee who worked in the field of audit.
Why would I want to become an EA?
- The Internal Revenue Code is constantly changing and there will always be a need for EAs.
- EAs are in high demand. EAs are needed in small and large public accounting firms, law firms, corporate accounting departments, state departments of revenue, investment firms, banks and in private practice.
- More than half of all taxpayers use a professional to prepare their taxes.
- It's a flexible career that can be done part or full-time.
- EAs are competent, knowledgeable tax professionals who are held in high regard by their peers.
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Tell me about this three-part exam – the Special Enrollment Exam?
The SEE is administered by the Department of the Treasury in conjunction with Prometric.
What subjects are covered on the Special Enrollment Exam?
The SEE consists of three parts:
· SEE1: Part 1 — Individuals
· SEE2: Part 2 — Businesses
· SEE3: Part 3 — Representation, Practices and Procedures
Is the SEE a hard exam to pass?
Most people feel more secure taking the test after they have completed a prep study course. NAEA has partnered with Gleim Publications to introduce prep study courses in many of the colleges across the United States. If you’re interested in finding a prep study course at a college near you, just email NAEA at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you represent a college that would like to have a prep study course included in your curriculum, please contact email@example.com.
What are the differences between enrolled agents and other tax professionals?
The enrolled agent license is the most comprehensive license the IRS grants a tax professional. Enrolled agents are unrestricted in the types of taxpayers they can represent or tax matters they can handle.
Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation. CPAs and attorneys are licensed by states. Enrolled agents are federally licensed. While the IRS requires all preparers to obtain and maintain a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), enrolled agents have gone beyond the basic requirements and have demonstrated their expertise through comprehensive testing.
The IRS sets no formal educational requirements for enrolled agents. CPAs are licensed by the states, and most states require them to complete 150 semester hours of education in the field of accounting.
What is representation?
Taxpayers may represent themselves before the various administrative levels of the IRS. However, most taxpayers facing an IRS collection action, audit or an appeal of an audit or collection, would be wise to utilize the knowledge of a qualified tax expert. Taxpayers who hire an enrolled agent to represent them have someone on their side who can lead them through the process, who is authorized to speak on their behalf (and in their place) and can negotiate the best possible outcome. Every enrolled agent has passed the testing necessary for this level of representation.
“I am the instructor for the course at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA. This is the first school in Pennsylvania to join our partnership and we are in the third offering of the course. Many of the students in the class are embarking on a second career and it is great to be involved not only as an instructor but also as a mentor. Gleim offers great materials and I usually supplement each lesson with a life experience example or perhaps we will discuss how the lesson is related to topic in current events. We also discuss the benefits of NAEA membership and how the tools on the website can be helpful (i.e. engagement letters, continuing education, etc.). Educating America has been a wonderful experience. We are not only educating the next set of future tax experts, we are empowering people.” –Natasha Johnson, EA