How Much Does an Enrolled Agent Exam Cost?
According to irs.gov, “An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.” Being an enrolled agent can take a long time to accomplish, and it is very hard work. Once you have achieved the enrolled agent status, you will have to continue working just as hard throughout your career. Although being an enrolled agent is quite difficult, it can be achieved through perseverance and an extensive knowledge of tax code. Your knowledge is proven by passing the enrolled agent exam. Administered in three parts, the exam is a comprehensive test that, if passed, will enable the examinee to practice the profession.
How much does it cost?
- According to irsexams.com, the testing fee in each part is $101, making it $303 for all three parts. Each of these parts will be paid for separately.
- There is a little difference though to what naea.org says in their site. According to the enrolled agents’ association, each part of the exam costs $105. This difference in price is very small and will probably not make a difference to your decision.
What is going to be included?
- The exam is offered ten months a year (every month except March and April). An interested applicant needs to schedule his test in advance by contacting Prometric, the agency that administers the exam. Since Prometric has over 300 sites at which you can take the exam in the US alone (excluding the foreign locations), you should not have any difficulty finding one. The list of locations can also be found on the official site of the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
- In order to schedule your test, you need to have a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number).
- The exam is administered in three parts by a Prometric center. Parts 1 and 2 are each 100-item tests that cover Individuals and Businesses, respectively. The third one focuses on Representation, Practices and Procedures of being an enrolled agent. However, each part of the exams is broken down into different sections and subparts.
What are the extra costs?
- As what have been mentioned, PTIN is needed to take the exam. In the event that you do not have yours yet or it has already expired, you need to secure one. Payment will be $64.25.
- In the event that you want to reschedule your exam, you will need to pay a $35 rescheduling fee. However, this is only applicable if you reschedule 5-29 days before the exam schedule. It is known that there will be no cost if you reschedule the exam 30 days or more before the exam.
- Do not forget about the necessary studying material. This material can range in price from $30 to as much as $200 for the material.
- Because this test can be very difficult, some people choose to hire a tutor to help them study. Most tutors will charge per hour, and the charge will be determined by factors such as the tutor’s credentials, the location, and your depth of knowledge.
Tips to know:
- Like any other exam, the best tip one can give you is to simply prepare for it. There is no better way to prepare than be knowledgeable and proficient about taxations and other related fields.
- Always search for beneficial information regarding the exam. Join forums online and get tips from those who have taken the exam. Whether they failed or passed, you will learn from them.
- If you are not confident in your stocked knowledge, it would be an advantage for you to take review courses offered by some reputable organizations. You can opt for the in-house or online review courses offered. Although most of these review courses can cost close to $1000, enrolling into one will surely help you.
- While becoming an enrolled agent can be hard and the test and courses can be expensive, the salary and benefits you receive once the exam is passed will more than cover your costs.
How can I save money?
- If taking a formal review course does not allow fit with your budget, a good way to save money is to take the past years’ exams. Old exams have indications of what might be included on the current exam and how the questions are worded. By doing so, you will not have to pay hundreds of dollars for review centers. Old exams can be found at the official site of Internal Revenue Service.