Enrolled Agents – Frequently Asked Questions

Posted Directly from the IRS Website

Information about Enrolled Agents

1. What is an enrolled agent? (posted 11/8/11)

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 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.

2. How do you become an enrolled agent? (posted 11/8/11)

Follow these steps to become an EA:

  1. Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number;
  2. Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE);
  3. Achieve passing scores on all 3 parts of the SEE;*
  4. Apply for enrollment; and
  5. 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.

3. What is the difference between an Enrolled Agent and other credentials (e.g., Registered Tax Return Preparers)? (posted 11/8/11)

View this chart to learn about different tax preparer credentials.

4. Is it possible to become an Enrolled Agent if I have or have had problems with my personal tax obligations? (posted 11/8/11)

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.

5. How can I check on the status of my Enrolled Agent application? (posted 11/8/11)

To find out the status of an Enrolled Agent application, please send an email to epp@irs.gov, or call (313) 234-1280. Please be sure to include your full name and address.
6. How do I obtain a misplaced enrollment card? (posted 11/8/11)

A replacement card may be obtained by calling (313) 234-1280. You may also request a replacement card by e-mail at epp@irs.gov or by fax at (313) 234-1622. 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.