Information Regarding Tax Professional Credentials

Please refer to the chart below for information regarding tax professional credentials, qualifications, testing and renewal requirements, fees, and renewal information (excludes CPAs):

Title Enrolled Agent CA Registered
Tax Preparer
Annual Filing
Season Program
Paid Preparer
Tax ID Number
Regulating Agency IRS California Tax Education Council (CTEC) IRS IRS
Must pass a 3-part Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) & a suitability check. Part 1 – Individuals; Part 2 – Businesses; Part 3 – Representation, Practices & Procedures Complete 60-hours (45 federal and 15 state) of qualifying tax education from a CTEC Approved Provider. Course cost set by provider. Record of Completion of 18 hours of continuing education from an IRS-approved CE Provider. The course must include a comprehension test administered at the conclusion of the course. Complete the online renewal application. You must verify your personal information and answer a few new questions.
Testing Requirements Each part of SEE Exam contains 100 questions. 3.5 hour time limit per part. All questions are weighted equally.  Passing score is 105. Exam period: May 1 – February 28/29. Passed test valid for 2 years (carry over). The testing fee is $111.94 (increases to $181.94 on 3/1/18) for each part of the examination. Pass testing administered by course provider. 70% score passes. Course cost set by provider. The exam consists of a minimum of 100 questions made up of multiple choice and True/False style questions. Participants have a maximum of 3 hours to complete the exam. 70% score passes. Complete the online renewal application. You must verify your personal information and answer a few new questions.
Fees & Other
$30 $33 Valid PTIN, $5K tax preparer bond No fee. Valid PTIN, Consent to adhere to Cir. 230, Subpart B & section 10.51 No fee. Register or complete annual renewal application.
Total Enrollment
Cycle Edu. Reqs.
72 hours education per enrollment period (3 years) 20 hours education annually 18 hours education annually N/A
Topic Coverage
Min. of 16 hours education annually and a min. of 2 hours ethics courses annually. No credit for California topic courses. Complete 20-hours (10 hours federal tax law, 3 hours federal tax update, 2 hours of Ethics and 5 hours for State) of continuing tax education each year 6 Hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course & Test, 10 Hours Federal Tax Law and 2 Hours Ethics. Exceptions. Per IRS designation requirements.
Renewal Period
*SEE TABLE BELOW Renew by October 31 By April 15th - Expires: 12/31; Preparers currently registered with CTEC (California), OBTP (Oregon) and MSBITP (Maryland) are exempt from the AFSP requirement. These preparers must still attest to be bound by Circular 230 Subpart B and section 10.51. October 16 thru December 31


*Enrolled Agent Renewal Period Deadline

Social Security No. Ends in:


Due Date
of Renewal

Effective Date
of Renewal

CPE Reporting Period

0, 1, 2, 3 12/31/21 01/31/22 04/01/22 2019
4, 5, 6 12/31/19 01/31/20 04/01/20 2017
7, 8, 9 or no Social Security no. 12/31/20 01/31/21 04/01/21 2018