How Hard is it to Become an Enrolled Agent?

By Tim Frye

As you begin down the road of becoming a respectable tax professional, you will first want to establish yourself as a competent, honorable, and proficient tax preparer. Once you develop this reputation, it would be prudent to look into ways to expand your repertoire and explore new avenues of certification. Becoming an enrolled agent is a logical next step for the aspiring tax preparer that is looking to climb the professional ladder. Let’s look at the process in becoming an enrolled agent and its possible pitfalls.




Be Sure You’re Ready

As previously noted, when your first start out in the field of tax preparation, just getting your feet wet, gathering a decent book of clients, and beginning to comprehend the tax code will be enough of a challenge. Get your foundation set before you even think about becoming an enrolled agent. Jumping right to the next step before getting your feet underneath you would most often be an ignorant choice.

Study, Study, Study Then Study More

When you’re ready to start thinking about becoming an enrolled agent, be sure to find a great source of study material. Look out for Pronto Tax School to bring you an Enrolled Agent study course by the end of 2013. Let us remind you that the best way to study is to do endless amounts of returns, because not only are you learning your craft for the future, your making money concurrently. Many people study for years before taking the enrolled agent exam.

The Components

The exam is compartmentalized into three different tests. The first examination is for the taxation of individuals, the second is for business tax issues, and the third is a procedural exam for the ethical principles and will prepare you for the representation of people in front of the IRS. You can sign up to take all three examinations at once, or you can take one at a time. We would suggest breaking it into three parts and taking them in successive years, that way every year you progress as a tax preparer you will be able to use your growing knowledge from experience to pass the more difficult exams.