EA Rules/Procedures Updated by IRS

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

EA Rules and Procedures Updated

EA Rules/Procedures Updated by IRS

The IRS has updated its enrolled agent (EA) news webpage with information about such things as the new EA logo, enrollment renewal, and the revised test specifications for the EA exam.

New EA logo available for download.

The new EA logo is available for download at www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/enrolled-agent-logo. With the new logo now available, EAs may not use the obsolete logo in any publications, advertising, websites, business cards, or any communication with clients or prospective clients.

Enrollment renewal application period.

Generally, the EA renewal period begins on November 1 each year. EAs must renew their enrollment every three years, and when they renew depends on the last digit of their Social Security Number. For example, the 2019 renewal period for EAs with SSNs ending in 0, 1, 2 or 3 ran from November 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019. The renewal period for EAs with SSNs ending in 4, 5, or 6 will begin around November 1, 2019.

Form 8554, Enrolled Agent Renewal, may be submitted, and the $30 renewal fee paid, through Pay.gov.

To renew their status EAs generally must

  1. Have an active preparer tax identification number (PTIN); and
  2. Have completed a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education (CE) per enrollment cycle, with at least 16 hours of CE (including 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct) each enrollment year; and
  3. Pay the $30 non-refundable renewal fee.

The IRS notes it may take up to 90 days to process renewal applications.

Termination/inactive status.

The IRS has terminated the EA status of those individuals who failed to renew their EA status twice, i.e., in both 2016 and 2019. The IRS sent out termination letters to these individuals in late July. An individual whose EA status has been terminated must retake the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) to be eligible for re-enrollment.

EAs who were required to renew their EA status, but failed to do so before January 31, 2019 (i.e., those with SSNs ending in 0,1,2 or 3) had their EA status inactivated by the IRS. EAs in inactive status can still submit a late renewal for approval with proof of CE. EAs with questions about their enrollment status should contact the Office of Enrollment at 855-473-5540.

CE credit.

The IRS will now allow CE credit for programs covering data security and identity theft topics. Previously, the IRS only allowed CE credit for programs covering federal tax preparation, federal tax updates, ethics, and representation topics.

Revised SEE test specifications.

As of July 1, 2019, the SEE has been revised to reflect tax law for calendar year 2018. The revised test specifications include tax law changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The revised test specifications are available here.