Enrolled Agent-the Complete Kaleidoscope: Course, Eligibility, Syllabus, Exam Structure and Job Opportunities in India
An enrolled agent (EA) is a person who is authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.
Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years post enrollment. EAs, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights.
This means they 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. Furthermore, EA license is a federal token, not a state license, thus not restricted to a particular territory.
Professionals who help clients with US taxes may benefit from becoming enrolled agents (EAs). Through the enrolled agent course, syllabus and exam, the IRS empowers EAs with tools unavailable to most other tax preparers. These professionals can speak on clients’ behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities.
EAs can handle virtually any situation that may arise in the case of a taxpayer. The EA credential can verify your credibility, open doors to new careers, and attract work opportunities. Tax preparers, accountants, and those wanting to move into tax preparation can gain confidence with an EA license.
Briefly, an enrolled agent is a federally licensed tax practitioner meant for tax preparation, who has unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS for any issues relating to collections, audits, or tax appeals. According to the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)—the organization that represents licensed EAs—they are allowed to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for people, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and anything else that is required to report to the IRS.
Remember that obtaining certification through enrolled agent course is an IRS certified accounting degree on US taxation. Before opting to be an EA, as an exam candidate, one should have thorough information on
- Enrolled Agent Course
- Enrolled Agent Syllabus
- Enrolled Agent Exam
- Job Opportunity of Enrolled Agents in India
Requirements for EA Certification under Internal Revenue System
This is quite fascinating to note that EA certification follows a straightforward process. Applicants do not need to hold a particular academic degree or must fulfil certain credit hours or meet experience requirements. Furthermore, this online course duration is comparatively shorter than other international online bachelor accounting degree programs.
Steps to becoming an enrolled agent
- Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
- Visit Prometric’s Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) webpage to schedule your test appointments, review the SEE Candidate
- Achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE* within three years.
- Apply for enrollment and pay enrollment fee electronically using Pay.gov Form 23 or by downloading Form 23, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service and mailing the completed form and a check to the IRS.
- Pass a suitability check, which will include tax compliance to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities; and criminal background.
*Certain IRS employees, by virtue of past technical experience, are exempt from the exam requirement.
Professional Requirements for EA Certification Course
Once you become an Enrolled Agent you must:
- Renew your status as an enrolled agent every three years
- Obtain continuing education (CEE)
- Renew your PTIN annually
Syllabus for Enrolled Agent Certification Exam
The enrolled agent exam is called the special enrollment exam (SEE). The SEE consists of three sections:
- taxation and individuals;
- taxation and businesses; and
- representation, practices, and procedures.
- All questions are multiple choice.
Enrolled Agent Exam Structure-SEE
|PART ONE: TAXATION AND INDIVIDUALS
|PART TWO: TAXATION AND BUSINESSES
|PART THREE: REPRESENTATION, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES
|· Taxpayer data (14 questions)
|· Business entities and considerations (30 questions)
|· Practices and procedures (26 questions)
|· Income and assets (17 questions)
|· Business tax preparation (37 questions)
|· Representation before the IRS (25 questions)
|· Deductions and credits (17 questions)
|· Specialized returns (18 questions)
|· Specific areas of representation (20 questions)
|· Taxation (15 questions)
|· Filing process (14 questions)
|· Advising the taxpayer (11 questions)
|· Specialized returns (12 questions)
Exam Schedule for Enrolled Agent Certification
Candidates must schedule four hours for each section. This includes 3.5 hours to take the test and 30 minutes for a pre-examination tutorial and post-examination survey.
Candidates do not have to take all parts of the test on the same day or on consecutive days. They also do not have to complete the parts in any order. Prometric only offers the exam at its testing sites and not through off-site proctors.
Each exam part may be taken 4 times per testing window, which runs from May 1 to the end of February. The test is offered from May 1 to the end of February of the following year. The test is not offered during the annual blackout period in March and April. During this time the test is updated with the most recent tax law.
Enrolled Agent Exam Scoring
The scoring methodology was determined by the IRS following a scoring study. A panel of subject matter experts composed of Enrolled Agents and IRS representatives established a passing score for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications to be an Enrolled Agent. The scaled passing score is 105.
- The EA licensing examination contains three parts, each consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions. Of those 100 questions, 85 questions count toward the test-taker’s score. The other 15 questions are experimental and are not scored. Each question is marked right or wrong. No weighting system applies to the final score.
- The Internal Revenue System (IRS) uses a scaled scoring system for the SEE. This approach evaluates the total number of questions answered correctly against the number of questions on the exam. The system converts this number to a scale that runs from 40-130. Test-takers must earn a scaled score of 105 or higher to pass.
- At the end of the exam, candidates receive a notification on their computer screen indicating that they have passed. They will not see their scaled score. The IRS only determines if a test-taker is qualified, not how qualified they may be.
|AVERAGE PASS RATE
|Representation, Practices and Procedures
- The cut-off score is 105.Test-takers who fail receive their scaled score of 40-104 and diagnostic information indicating which areas need improvement. The system ranks a candidates’ performance in each exam area on a scale of 1-3. A score of one shows an area of weakness, while three indicates relative strength.
Enrolled Agent Exam Fees
There is a $203 fee per part paid at the time of appointment scheduling. The test fee is non-refundable and non-transferable
Enrolled Agent Fees after Passing
Candidates who pass the exam must pay a $67 enrollment fee when they apply to practice before the IRS.
Enrolled Agent Exam Costs
|Obtain or Renew PTIN (annual)
|Scheduling Fee (each part)
You may reschedule the EA exam without forfeiting your EA exam fee as long as you do so at least 5 days prior to your testing date. But there is a rescheduling fee depending on when exactly you reschedule your exam appointment.
If you reschedule the EA exam at least 30 days prior to your appointment, there is no rescheduling fee.
If you reschedule the EA exam 5 to 29 days prior to your appointment, there is a $35 rescheduling fee.
If you reschedule the EA exam fewer than 5 calendar days before your appointment date, you will be required to pay another full examination fee.
What Is Needed to Maintain EA Accounting Certification?
Enrolled agents must renew their certification with the IRS every three years. Each EA’s renewal year is determined by the last digit of their Social Security number. Agents can file their renewal applications online or on paper. Based on their renewal cycle, each agent must complete 72 hours of continuing education, with a minimum of 16 hours each year. At least two hours per year must focus on ethics. An IRS provider must conduct the continuing education experiences.
Enrolled Agent-Practice Exams and Study Resources
- Internal Revenue Service
The IRS is the definitive source of information regarding the SEE, becoming an EA, and the EA retirement program. Aspiring enrolled agents can discover the latest news affecting their profession and stay up to date with certification requirements.
- National Association of Enrolled Agents
Founded in 1972, this community of tax practitioners serves more than 10,000 professionals. The association’s site offers extensive information on becoming an enrolled agent, plus tips for passing the SEE. The NAEA also provides continuing education opportunities and career development resources.
An international test administration agency, Prometric administers the SEE on behalf of the IRS. Test-takers can access a variety of resources through Prometric. Resources include extensive information about the test, scoring, and retesting. Prometric also offers a 30-minute test simulation.
Enrolled Agents Job Opportunities in India
The Enrolled Agent course is an affordable online accounting course which is useful if anyone wishes to continue any kind of US taxation jobs. There is a wide scope of work opportunities for many who wish to pursue this field. Many opportunities lie in the US as the course deals with US taxation. Indian ITES – BPO and KPO industry servicing International and US Financial and Accounting domain is growing leaps and bounds.
All these firms, including BIG4, require knowledgeable and skilled resources to service their US and International clients on US taxation, practice, and procedures. Enrolled Agent certification, being the highest credential awarded by IRS for US taxation practice; Job seekers with EA qualification are most preferred resources by these companies.
All fortune 500 companies which have their shared services, International Banks, Financial Institutions, Big 4 and other accounting companies need EAs in their system. New FATCA (Foreign accounting tax compliance act) rules stipulate that all the Indian banks and Financial Institutions also need to submit reports on transactions entered by US investors. EA’s will be a prime resource to handle these work processes.
Enrolled agent will have opportunity to work in:
- Big 4 audit firms
- Accounting and taxation BPO’s & KPO’s
- Shared service centers
- International Banks & FIs BPO & KPO’s
- Indian banks & FIs
- Indian International companies
Advantages of EA over other courses in India:
|No. of Subjects / Papers
|Pass Percentage %
|Highest tax qualification offered by the IRS
|Professional qualification in India
|INR 1.5 Lacs
|INR 3 Lacs
|Career opportunities abroad
|Starting salary for freshers
|INR 4-7 Lacs
|INR 4-7 Lacs
While annual salaries range between $97,000 and $25,500, most Enrolled Agent salaries currently range between $45,000 (25th percentile) to $68,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $86,500 annually across the United States.
Enrolled agents, or EAs, specialize in all kinds of tax issues, both individual and for businesses large and small. As an EA, they earn the right and privilege to represent clients before the IRS, covering all tax topics and working with any administrative level. It is a highly respected accounting certification that has the power to boost careers and expand opportunities within the profession.
How to become an enrolled agent:
Tax accountants who want to become an EA need to pass a comprehensive three-part exam that tests their knowledge of tax law and processes. This exam, known as the SEE, covers individuals, businesses, tax procedures, representation, and tax practice.
Participants must pass each of the parts within two years to earn their license. There’s no educational requirement or hourly threshold that qualifies a person to become an EA, just the exam itself.
Once the tax accountant has passed the exam, they must go through a background check administered by the IRS. Every three years after that, the EA must keep up on continuing education credits throughout their career.
The honor and distinction of becoming an enrolled agent can make a big impact on a tax accountant’s professional life, and it’s worth looking at the many benefits.
Whether someone is just starting out in their career or they have plenty of tax preparation experience and want to take things to the next level, they should consider becoming an enrolled agent.
Here are three of the most valuable benefits in becoming an enrolled agent.
- Verification of Tax Expertise
Earning an EA license means that the tax accountant is part of an elite group that is recognized as a tax expert. As the highest certification given by the IRS, an EA is an easy way to signal that the professional who holds the license has a very high level of tax expertise.
The IRS has such strict standards about earning an EA credential that everyone understands it means deep knowledge and a range of expertise. An EA is not limited to state or regional knowledge, either. Because it is regulated by The Department of Treasury, EA credentials are recognized and revered in every state.
- Opportunities for Job Growth
Becoming an enrolled agent is an excellent way to explore job opportunities and business prospects that may not otherwise be open. EAs specialize in tax issues of all kinds ranging from businesses to individuals.
An EA license makes tax accountants highly desirable when it comes to jobs at a tax firm, a government entity, or for a CPA in the private sector. With an EA on their resume, it’s easy for someone to stand out among other job applicants.
- Expanded Earning Potential
For tax accountants, earning an EA can increase their salary by several thousand dollars and allows them to take the next step in their career. The higher salary potential is one of the many benefits that an EA license can provide.
In the eyes of their clients, EAs are incredibly valuable because they need help understanding the complexities of taxes and how they affect their business or their individual earnings.
EAs can represent taxpayers in any kind of situation in front of the IRS on an unlimited number of tax topics. From collections and audits to appeals and advising, EAs can work in any state and there are no limits to the type of clients or the type of IRS offices they can take on.
No matter where they are in their career, EAs will always be able to provide a wide range of tax services to an increasing number of clients from all backgrounds.
In order to get the enrolled agent certification through completion of the Enrolled Agent syllabus, one must go vividly through the Enrolled Agent course for successful clearance of the Enrolled Agent exam, to finally come out with flying colors as an IRS certified US tax professional.
To achieve this smoothly, one needs good study support in terms of good standard review materials and quality mentoring process for this online accounting program. Uplift Professionals, one of the premier institutes provide effective study support to pass EA exam in shorter duration. A sample study plan is provided below.
To obtain an enrolled agent certification, studying from accounting textbooks or the tax code can save you money on materials, but it has massive opportunity costs. You must spend time figuring out what and how much to study, and you likely will have to purchase books to make sure you get complete content coverage.
Get it wrong, and you may have to pay to retake part of the exam. Working with time-tested review material from the best online study provider will require you to spend money up front, but it takes the guesswork out of your preparations. Plus, you will be following a system that has helped many other candidates pass their exams.
For Further Information/Assistance, Contact:www.upliftprofessionals.in/Enrolled_Agent