Important Information Regarding the Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Examination
The government shutdown has delayed the annual revision of the Special Enrollment Examination. The examination administered starting on May 1, 2019 has not yet been updated and reflects tax law for the calendar year 2017. A revised examination will be released on July 1, 2019 and will be based on tax law for the calendar year 2018.
SEE Revised Test Specifications Available for Exams Beginning July 1
To ensure that the SEE accurately incorporates the changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and continues to reflect the skills and knowledge necessary to be an enrolled agent, the IRS commissioned a review and update of the SEE test specifications. Enrolled agents from the private sector and subject matter experts from the IRS participated in updating the test content. As a result, there were changes to the test specifications affecting test content topics for the SEE to be administered beginning July 1, 2019.
Despite enrolled agent renewal processing delays, enrollments will not expire
Due to the government shutdown, the processing of renewals for enrolled agents whose enrollment expires on March 31, 2019, will be delayed.
The IRS is automatically extending enrollment card expiration for the current renewal cycle which includes all enrolled agents with social security numbers ending in 0, 1, 2, or 3.
The deadline for submitting timely renewals was January 31, 2019. All renewal applications will be worked on a first in, first out basis. Enrolled agents with social security numbers ending in 0, 1, 2, or 3 who have not yet submitted a renewal should do so immediately at Pay.gov.
Annual Enrollment Renewal Application Period for EAs
The 2019 Enrollment Renewal Application Period is open from November 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019. Per U.S. Treasury Department Circular No. 230 (Rev. 6-2014), you are required to renew your EA status during this time frame if your SSN ends in 0, 1, 2, or 3. Without renewal your current enrollment will expire on March 31, 2019.
You may submit your enrollment renewal application and payment directly online through Pay.gov.
To renew you must:
- Have an active preparer tax identification number (PTIN).
- Complete a minimum of 16 hours CE each year of your enrollment cycle for a total 72 hours. In addition, 2 hours of ethics, or professional conduct must be completed during each enrollment year. EXCEPTION: If this is your first renewal, you must complete 2 hours of CE for each month of your enrollment, including 2 hours of ethics, or professional conduct each year.
- Pay the $30 non-refundable renewal fee. This fee applies regardless of your enrollment status.
Use these tips to ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible:
- Do not submit your application prior to November 1, 2018.
- Fill in the CE table in Part 1 completely.
- Sign, and date your form in Part 3.
Please allow 90 days for processing before calling 855-472-5540 to check on the status of your application.
IRS to Terminate/Inactivate EAs Who Haven't Renewed
The Internal Revenue Service will begin sending letters to EAs whose enrollment status is being terminated or inactivated because of failure to renew. Termination letters will go out in late May, while inactive letters will go out mid-June 2018.
EAs with SSNs ending in 7, 8, 9, or no SSN, who have not renewed for the 2015 and 2018 cycles will have their enrollment placed in terminated status. Anyone in terminated status must re-take the SEE to apply for re-enrollment.
EAs with SSNs ending in 7, 8, 9, or no SSN, who did not renew for the 2018 cycle will have their enrollment placed in inactive status. Anyone in inactive status can still submit a late renewal for approval; with proof of CE.
If you have questions about your enrollment status, please contact the Office of Enrollment at 855-472-5540.
IRS to Conduct EA CE Audits
Beginning in late May 2018, the IRS will mail letters to a random sample of EAs with SSNs ending in 7, 8, 9, or no SSN, requesting copies of their continuing education (CE) certificates of completion for the past three years.
Recipients of the letters will be asked to mail or fax the documents within 30 days.
New Enrolled Agent Logo Available
The IRS is providing a new enrolled agent logo that EAs may use in marketing materials.
The new logo replaces a logo IRS created in 2012. While use of the new logo is optional, use of the prior logo must cease. The prior logo contains a likeness of a government insignia, which by law limits its use to officers and employees of departments and agencies of the United States. We apologize for this error and any confusion that we may have caused.
Enrolled agents have until October 31, 2018 to discontinue use of the logo containing the IRS eagle. The obsoleted logo may not appear in any publications, advertising, websites, business cards, or other communications with clients or prospective clients.
For further guidance on marketing materials, please refer to Circular 230, particularly § 10.30 regarding Solicitation.
Active enrolled agents can obtain the logo by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “EA logo."
Continuing Education Credit Can be Earned for Data Security Courses
Tax professionals can now earn CE credit for programs covering data security and identity theft topics. Courses focused on enhancing tax professional awareness of protecting client data, including review of Publications 4556 or 4524 safeguards can qualify for continuing education in the federal tax law category.
IRS recognized CE programs previously only included those courses that covered federal tax preparation, federal tax updates, ethics, and representation topics.