How to Become an Enrolled Agent (SEE)

If you help clients with taxes, becoming an enrolled agent (EA) might prove one of the best career moves you could make. The IRS empowers EAs with an array of tools unavailable to most other tax preparers. These professionals can speak on a client’s behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities. The credential essentially allows EAs to handle virtually any situation that may arise in the case of a taxpayer.

Included among the information below are the many benefits EA certification may bring to your career. This page explores why any tax preparer or accountant might consider adding this credential to begin earning an EA salary. This guide also explains how to become an enrolled agent and prepare for the enrolled agent exam. If you think earning an EA certification would suit you, read on to learn everything you need to know about the process.

Why Become an Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled agent certification comes with countless benefits. The credential raises your profile, opens new career doors, attracts work, and gives you confidence in your abilities as an accountant. Whether you work as a tax preparer or accountant or simply want to move into the field of tax preparation, becoming an EA bestows credibility on your enterprise. Several other benefits of passing the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) follow below.

  • Earning Potential: When it comes to tax preparation, you can do everything a client needs once you become an enrolled agent. Because you can argue tax law, discuss audits with the IRS, deal with the IRS collections department, and make appeals, you can provide a full gamut of services. Not everyone can provide these services, which puts you in high demand and a position of great earning potential.
  • Jack of All Taxes: An enrolled agent can do almost anything in the world of tax preparation. They can handle collections issues, answer questions on behalf of clients, file appeals, and make challenges to the IRS. This freedom enables credential holders to fully represent clients in a way that only EAs and CPAs can.
  • National Credentials: The “EA” by your name represents a federal designation handed down by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In other words, it allows you to work anywhere in the country. This contrasts with CPA licensure, which is state-specific with limitations and restrictions. Clients know that enrolled agents can work across state lines without hassle.
  • Certified Expertise: “EA” represents the highest level of professionalism in the field of tax preparation. Clients can take comfort in the knowledge that you really know the ropes, just as patients recognize that “MD” indicates a certain level of attainment in the field of medicine.
  • Job Stability: Governments will not stop levying taxes any time soon, so as an EA you enjoy a steady flow of work from individuals, tax-prep firms, law firms, accounting firms, and all manners of corporations. Virtually everyone must pay taxes of some sort, and the ever-changing tax code means even more job security for enrolled agents.
By Sarah Seavey
Sarah Seavey