There are two ways to become an EA.
One: The Special Enrollment Exam
This is the most-common route for becoming an EA. Pass the 3-part Special Enrollment Examination (oftentimes called the “SEE”).
The 3 parts are:
- Individual tax law
- Business tax law
- IRS representation, practices and procedure
The exam is closed-book.
Once you’ve passed all 3 parts, you apply for enrollment and the IRS conducts a background check. The background check is mainly looking for criminal convictions and also to verify that the applicant has been compliant with their personal and business taxes.
Two: The IRS Employee Route
An IRS employee who has worked for at least 5 years in a position that requires technical application of tax law can apply for licensure as an EA. A background check is still required but the applicant isn’t required to take the SEE.
For more information about the EA program and becoming an EA, check out this page on the IRS website.
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