How to become an EA

Why get the Enrolled Agent credential?

The IRS is encouraging tax preparer education, especially over the last few years.

First the IRS required all tax preparers to pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) exam during the period 2012-2013, and complete annual continuing eduation.  The RTRP program was discontinued after judges determined that the IRS didn't have the authority to require this.

Next the IRS implemented a voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) in 2014 which is free to join, preparers must complete acceptable continuing eduation courses annually. AFSP preparers have limited representation rights for their clients.

Currently, the IRS is encouraging all tax preparers to obtain the more difficult Enrolled Agent (EA) credential.  EAs have full representation rights and is a highly respected professional designation--because you have to pass a fairly difficult 3-part Special Enrollment Examination.