Help for new Enrolled Agents
What is the "initial enrollment cycle"?
Your re-enrollment date is based on the last digit of your social security number.
When you first become an enrolled agent, the period up until your first re-enrollment date is considered your "initial enrollment cycle," and it is normally less than 3 years.
- EXCEPT if you receive your initial enrollment between November 1st and December 31st of the third year of an enrollment cycle, you will renew after the first full renewal period, and your intitial cycle will have 73-74 months in it.
CPE Requirements for the initial enrollment cycle
New Enrolled Agents should complete an average of 2 hours of CPE for each month enrolled during the enrollment cycle.
An EA must complete 2 hours of Ethics per calendar year, regardless enrollment date. The ethics hours are included in the total CPE hours required.
Review the chart for your SS# to see hours needed and due date of renewal.
I am in my initial enrollment cycle and
My Social Security number ends in 0, 1, 2 or 3
My Social Security number ends in 4, 5 or 6
My Social Security number ends in 7, 8 or 9 or I do not have a Social Security number
Do I have to take exactly 2 hours of CE each month?
No. The CE requirement is calculated on the basis of 2 hours per month, but you can take your CE at any time during the calendar year. For example, if your enrollment date is in Septemeber, you are enrolled for 4 months of the year and need 4 x 2 = 8 hours of CE by December 31st of that year.
If I take more than my requirement in one year, can I carry over the excess CE to the next year?
No. There is no carryover of CE credit when you are in your initial enrollment period. If you take more hours than the average 2 hours per month of enrollment, those hours will not count towards your total period requirement. Once you are past your initial enrollment period (you have renewed your Enrolled Agent license at least one time), you can carryover up to 24 CE hours each year. See more details about the standard enrollment cycle here.
Will courses I took before receiving my EA License count towards EA CPE requirements?
No, any courses completed prior to the effective date of your license cannot be used to satisfy Enrolled Agent CPE requirements.
Will I receive a renewal notice from the IRS?
The IRS is apparently no longer mailing notices to remind you of your upcoming renewal. Go ahead and mark you renewal date on your calendar. Your renewal can then be filed between November 1st and January 31st.
"Failure to receive notification from the Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility of the renewal requirement will not be justification for the individual's failure to satisfy this requirement."
--Treasury Dept. Circular No. 230
You still should submit an address change if you have moved
Common mistake when filing renewal
Even though your Enrolled Agent license card shows an expiration date of April 1, 20xx, your renewal is due by January 31st of the renewal year. This January due date gives the IRS 2 months to process the renewals and mail you a new license.
How to file and pay
Option #1: File by mail and pay by check
You can fill out form 8554 online and print the filled out form to mail, along with your check.
Option #2: File and pay electronically
Fill out the form at www.pay.gov and submit your payment.
We recommend filing and paying electronically (option #2) as the IRS is able to process your renewal quickly. We have heard reports from our EA students that mailing your 8554 renewal can cause the renewal to take 3 months or more for processing.
What is the cost of renewal?
Effective March 31, 2011 the Enrolled Agent renewal fee was reduced to $30 (every 3 years).
Questions? Comments? We know the CPE requirements for the initial enrolment period can be confusing--please call us (877-738-6273) if you need any clarification.
- Written by Carolyn Weaver