How Does Someone Become An EA?
The EA designation is earned in one of two ways:
1. An individual must pass the three (3) part examination administered byPrometrics which covers taxation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, procedures and ethics. Next, the successful candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the Internal Revenue Service; or
2. An individual may become an EA based on employment at the Internal Revenue Service for a minimum of five years in a job where he/she regularly applied and interpreted the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and regulations.
Are EAs required to take continuing professional education (CPE)?
In addition to the stringent testing and application process, EAs are required to complete 72 hours of CPE, reported every three years, to maintain their status. Because of the difficulty in becoming an EA and keeping up the required credentials, there are approximately 53,000 EAs in the United States.
Are EAs bound by any ethical standards?
EAs are required to abide by the Standards of Ethical Conduct as published in U.S. Treasury Department Circular 230. EAs found to be in violation of the provisions contained in Circular 230 may be suspended or disbarred.
Why should I choose an EA who is a member of the California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA)?
CSEA is the organization of and for EAs. The principal concern of the Society and its Members is honest, intelligent, and ethical representation of the financial position of taxpayers before governmental agencies. Members of CSEA are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing professional education each year in the interpretation, application, and administration of federal and state tax laws in order to maintain membership in the organization. This requirement surpasses the IRS’ required minimum of 24 hours per year.
How can I find an EA?
To locate an EA in California, check the referral directory, look in the telephone yellow pages under “tax preparation” or call the California Society of Enrolled Agents at 1-800-829-7765 (or 1-800-TAX-PRO5).
CLICK HERE for a quick link to the CSEA Enrolled Agent search.