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6 mistakes to avoid with Enrolled Agent CE

 

Enrolled Agents (EA) are required to obtain continuing education (CE) in order to renew their EA credential. The term CE is used interchangeably with CPE (continuing professional education).

Before you enroll in a CE course, is important to evaluate whether the course will be accepted for CE credit for your EA renewal. You might not find out that this course you took was invalid or inappropriate until you are contacted by the IRS, sometimes months or even years after you have taken the course.

There are six major factors that can affect whether the CE will be accepted and reported properly.

1) CPE provider is not authorized by the IRS 

2) Courses are not for an approved subject area

3) Course format is not acceptable

4) CPE taken in wrong time period

5) Courses do not get reported to the IRS

6) Enrolled Agent fails to review PTIN account

Not surprisingly, we usually hear about problems AFTER they have occurred.  

What can happen if you make mistakes in selecting your CE courses?

While any of these problems are not exactly life-threatening, they can affect your ability to practice as an EA.  They can also be inconvenient and time-consuming to correct.  And it could be embarrassing to explain to clients that you can't call yourself an EA until you get this resolved.

The most common result of taking incorrect courses is that you do not have the right number of CE hours when it comes time to renew your EA credential.  If you realize this when you are renewing your EA in January, when your renewal is due, then you have already missed the December 31st deadline to complete your CE.  So you might be able to take some last minute courses, but technically you have not taken the courses in the correct time period.

If you submit your renewal without the correct number of hours or the IRS later notifies you that some of your courses were not acceptable, you are immediately placed on inactive status.  You are then usually given the opportunity to correct the CPE deficiencies, and provide the IRS proof of this in the form of certificates of completion for the courses.  While on inactive status, you cannot practice as an EA, or hold out to be an EA, although you can still complete tax returns as a PTIN tax preparer.

Why worry about mistakes with your CE?

There is no good reason to make errors in selecting your CE courses--read the "6 Mistakes to Avoid" series and keep your EA in good standing.  If you have additional questions after reading these articles, please feel free to contact our office.  We have a dedicated staff member available to discuss Enrolled Agent CE requirements if you need further help. 

Read Mistake #1:
CPE provider is not authorized by the IRS

6 Mistakes to avoid with EA CE

We want to reduce the stress associated with dealing with a continuing education mistake.  Review the 6 common mistakes that we have seen, so you can avoid these problems.

MISTAKE # 1: CE PROVIDER NOT AUTHORIZED BY IRS

MISTAKE # 2: COURSES NOT FOR APPROVED SUBJECT

MISTAKE # 3: COURSE FORMAT NOT ACCEPTABLE

MISTAKE # 4: CE TAKEN IN WRONG TIME PERIOD

MISTAKE # 5: COURSES NOT REPORTED TO IRS

MISTAKE # 6: EA FAILS TO REVIEW PTIN ACCOUNT

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Still have questions about Enrolled Agent CE?  We have a dedicated staff member who specializes in Enrolled Agent CPE requirements.  Call or email us if you have any questions.

Yes we report your CE hours to the IRS We do report your CE hours earned to the IRS electronically.  We are an approved IRS CPE provider for Enrolled Agents and Tax Preparers.

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Why EAs take our courses

"I loved the convenience of FunCPE: printing out the study materials and tests, entering the test answers online at my convenience and receiving the e-mailed CPE certificates. I liked being able to work off line and then complete the tests online."
--Louanda Feather, EA (North Canton, OH)

* * *

"Very well organized, the questions were illustrative of the text content and the rules and regulations for which they were pertinent.

I will absolutely be back on your site, I have purchased several more exams, and plan to use them very soon."
--Frank B. Howard, EA (Ukiah, CA).

* * *

"Still the best CPE site . . . and thanks for not charging a fortune Thank you again. . . still the best CPE site . . . and thanks for not charging a fortune. I need 92 CPEs by next year's end, so I will see you again. Great people, communication is intelligent and very respectful and polite. Really appreciate this. Intend to use your company often. Thanks.
--E. M., EA (Salisbury, MD)

Which FunCPE courses quailify for EA CPE?

As per the rules outlined in Treasury Department Circular No. 230, qualifying Enrolled Agent CPE must be in the areas of:

Federal taxation |  Federal tax related matters |  Ethics (2 hours per year)

All FunCPE  tax courses qualify for EA CPE as well as our ethics courses.  You can:

Sign up for a tax package which includes ethics:

~ or ~

Select your individual courses:

FunCPE exams are available online 24/7 to help you meet your CPE requirements on time. Purchase books separately or borrow from library!