What’s In The EA (Enrolled Agent) Exam?

What’s In The EA (Enrolled Agent) Exam?

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Salvation! Economic Stability! Your Future Happiness!

Oh…and don’t forget – WORK FROM HOME!

It’s true, but these only arrive after you’ve successfully passed three of the toughest exams out there. You’ll find plenty more information over at Prometric’s site but here’s a quick overview of the IRS’ Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Examination

The exam is presented in three different sections:

SEE1: Part 1 – Individuals

SEE2: Part 2 – Businesses

SEE3: Part 3 – Representation, Practices and Procedures

Each examination consists of 100 questions. But only 85 of your answers count. The rest of the questions are for quantitative analysis purposes. You’ll never know which ones those are.

Let’s break down each exam:

Part 1 – Individuals

As the title says, this section deals with the individual taxpayer and covers over 100 different topics broken down into 5 areas:

  • Section 1: Preliminary Work and Tax Payer Data (17 items)
  • Section 2; Income and Assets (21 items)
  • Section 3: Deductions and Credits (21 items)
  • Section 4: Taxation and Advice (14 items)
  • Section 5. Specialized Returns for Individuals (12 items)

Part 2 – Businesses

Most people work with individuals and personal tax return. But to make a living in today’s tax environment, you must grow your practice by taking on business clients. This is where your day-to-day income will come from – through accounting, consulting, safeguarding the client’s business from employee theft and helping them do tax planning. You can become indispensable to a business by knowing the relevant loopholes. This exam covers about 112 topics and is broken down as follows:

  • Section 1: Businesses (28 items)
  • Section 2: Business Financial Information (39 items)
  • Section 3: Specialized Returns and Tax Payers (18 items)

Part 3 – Representation, Practices and Procedures

This is the fun stuff and is what really makes you stand apart as an Enrolled Agent. This is what distinguishes you from the run-of-the-mill tax return preparer – and even from CPAs. To prepare your client’s case for Tax Court (even though you may not practice there, yourself) you must learn these 130 topics broken down into the following 4 areas:

  • Section 1: Practices and Procedures (25 items)
  • Section 2: Representation before the IRS (24 items)
  • Section 3: Specific Types of Representation (19 items)
  • Section 4: Completion of the Filing Process (17 items)

The Actual Exam

You’ll take three separate exams; one for each part and you can take each part up to four times during each test window. You don’t have to take them in order.

The current test window is May 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.

You book your exam through Prometric, preferably online or – if you want to sit on hold, by calling 800 306 3926. You will pay an exam fee of $111.94 for each part. (Don’t sign up for all of them at once. There is no volume discount for paying for three exams at one time.) Those who pass all three exams on the first try will have paid $335.82 dollars in total.

Each separate exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and you have 3.5 hours to answer them

More Information

To learn more about the whole process, drop by TaxMama’s ® EA exam site and read or view “Everything You Wanted to Know About the EA Exam.

If you find all of the above fairly daunting, don’t worry.

TaxMama’s® EA Exam review course was established to help people pass the exam by actually helping you learning tax, not just how to pass an exam. (That – you can get anywhere.)

Take a minute to read some of the glowing compliments we receive from a wide range of people who have taken the course. If you’d like to join these successful Enrolled Agents – you know what to do.

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Image Credit: Do NOT attempt to answer this question, your head will explode! by Duncan Hull on Flickr.


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