Just What is in Each Part then?
The exam is presented in three different sections:
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:
This section deals with the individual taxpayer and includes many topics and forms, broken down into these 6 areas:
- Section 1: Preliminary Work and Tax Payer Data
- Section 2; Income and Assets
- Section 3: Deductions and Credits
- Section 4: Taxation and Advice
- Section 5. Advising the Individual Taxpayer
- Section 6. Specialized Returns for Individuals
People are often surprised to learn that the Part 1 exam includes questions on Estate and Gift tax returns!
Many tax professionals work with individuals and their personal tax returns. 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.
The Part 2 exam covers these topics:
- Section 1: Businesses
- Section 2: Business Financial Information
- Section 3: Specialized Returns and Tax Payers
Although this doesn’t look like much – it actually includes many different business structures: Schedule C, Partnerships, S corporations, C Corporations, Exempt organizations, Rental Property, Trust (1041) returns, and more.
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 several topics broken down into the following 4 areas:
- Section 1: Practices and Procedures
- Section 2: Representation before the IRS
- Section 3: Specific Types of Representation
- Section 4: Completion of the Filing Process
This is the heart of the EA credential. And it involves understanding ethical standards, due diligence requirements, and how to solve taxpayers’ problems with audits and balances due.
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, 2022 through February 28, 2023.
You book your exam online, through Prometric, You will pay an exam fee of $185for 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 $555 in total.
Each separate exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, You have 3.5 hours to answer them. You get one 15 minute break after you answer the first 50 questions.More 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.)
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