An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), are generally unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.
Follow these steps to become an EA:
- Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number;
- Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE);
- Achieve passing scores on all 3 parts of the SEE;*
- Apply for enrollment; and
- Pass a tax compliance check to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities.
*Certain IRS employees, by virtue of past technical experience, are exempt from the exam requirement.
Review the Candidate Information Bulletin (pdf) to get started.
There is a $109 fee paid at the time of appointment scheduling. The test fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please refer to the
Candidate Information Bulletin
to read the policy on rescheduling appointments.
Failure to timely file tax returns or to pay your taxes may be grounds for denying an application for enrollment. The Return Preparer Office will review all of the facts and circumstances to determine whether a denial of enrollment is warranted.
Form 23 takes 60 days to process. If you haven’t received a response after 60 days, send an email to
or call (855) 472-5540. Please be sure to include your full name and address.
A replacement card may be obtained by calling (855) 472-5540. You may also request a replacement card by e-mail at
or by fax at (855) 889-7959. If requesting the card via e-mail, please do not include your SSN. The request should include your name, contact information, such as your daytime phone, and your enrolled agent number.
Generally, enrolled agents must obtain a minimum of 72 hours per enrollment cycle (every three years). Additionally, they must also obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education (including 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct) each enrollment year.
detailed information about continuing education for enrolled agents.
Yes, all applicants must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to register to take the examination. Obtain a PTIN at www.irs.gov/ptin.