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 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.

For examinations delivered through June 30, 2019:

For examinations beginning July 1, 2019:

2013 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums

The IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are taking place across the country. The forums feature the latest tax law information, workshops, continuing education credits and exhibits of the newest products and services. There is still time take advantage of this great opportunity.

For more information or to register, visit the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum website at

Be sure to check out the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums YouTube video.

Seminars from the 2012 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Now Available Online

The 2012 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum seminars are now available as online webinars.  The actual live seminars were filmed by the NTFO (IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online) and put online.  These are terrific resources for tax professionals.

The 2012 NTFO seminars cover many topics of interest to tax professionals including:

  • tax law updates,
  • registered tax return preparer regulations,
  • Treasury Circular No. 230 overview,
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit specifics,
  • new information on payment card and basis reporting requirements, and
  • EITC due diligence for preparers.

The webinars can be audited for free, or for a fee, Registered Tax Return Preparers, RTRP candidates, Enrolled Agents and CPAs can earn CPE credit. NTFO is registered with the IRS Return Preparer Office and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a qualified sponsor of continuing professional education (CPE).

Tax professionals interested in these seminars should visit

Becoming an Enrolled Agent

We get so many questions about becoming an Enrolled Agent, we decided to put together a little FAQ on the topic!

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of practicing, that is, representing taxpayers, before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can practice before.

Why become an Enrolled Agent?

To survive in this competitive field and command higher fees, enhanced professional credentials are a must. Every paid preparer must now pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer test. Becoming an Enrolled Agent makes you stand out above the crowd. It says that you have done more than meet the minumum standards for your profession.

How do I become an Enrolled Agent?

There are two ways to become an enrolled agent:

  • Computerized examination. You can become an enrolled agent by demonstrating special competence in tax matters through taking and passing the computer based IRS Special Enrollment Examination. After passing the exam you must apply for enrollment (Form 23, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service). Applicants must undergo a background check prior to enrollment. This includes a review of the applicants tax transcript. Failure to timely file or pay taxes can be grounds for denial of enrollment. The IRS generally process applications within 90 days.
  • IRS experience. You can become an enrolled agent by virtue of past service and technical experience with the IRS that qualifies you for enrollment.
How do I take the IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE)?

Thomson Prometric has been selected by the Internal Revenue Service to develop and administer the computer based Special Enrollment Examination. The examination is administered at one of over 900 Thomson testing centers through the U.S. The application form to take the examination as well as information about the examination can be found on their website at

What is covered on the SEE?

The exam consists of three parts. Part 1 covers individual taxes including estate and gift tax. Part 2 covers taxes pertaining to businesses including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, fiduciaries, and tax-exempt organizations. Part 3 covers representation before the IRS and practice and procedures of an enrolled agent.

What is the price of the Special Enrollment Exam?

Each part of the examination costs $109 ($327 for all three parts).

When can I take the Special Enrollment Exam?

The 2014 special enrollment examination period starts on May 1, 2014 and runs through February 28, 2015. You can schedule your test online and take the test at any Thompson Prometric Testing Center between those dates.

Do I have to take all three parts of the SEE at the same time?

The three parts DO NOT have to be taken at once. You can take one part at a time. Once you have taken and passed one part, you have two years from the date of passing that part to take and pass the other two parts.

How many questions are on each part of the SEE?

There are 100 questions on each part of the SEE.

How much time do I have to take each part of the SEE?

Each exam is 3.5 hours long. The actual seat time is 4 hours to allow for a tutorial and survey.

Are some questions worth more points than others?

No. Each question is weighted equally.

What is the passing score for each part of the SEE?

There is no exact passing percentage for the exam. The examination is graded on a scale from 40 – 130. The passing score for each part is 105.

When will I know if I passed?

Instantaneously. You will be given your score right after you complete that part of the exam.

Does The Phoenix Tax Group have an Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course?

Yes! The Phoenix Tax Group has published an Enrolled Agent Exam Study Course for over 20 years. Click here to learn more.