IRS News Release: EA Exam Update Delayed

The revised EA exam will not be offered starting May 1st

The IRS has made an unprecedented announcement about the EA exam:

Due to the recent government shutdown, the revised EA exam, updated to reflect 2018 tax law changes and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), will not be offered starting May 1, 2019, as was previously planned. The IRS’s press release on February 28 explained that they will administer the current EA exam, i.e., the one testing 2017 tax laws and no changes, from May 1 – June 30, 2019. The revised EA exam will be offered beginning July 1, 2019. Along with this announcement, the IRS released the new Exam Content Outlines that will apply to the revised EA exam beginning July 1, 2019.

Important exam dates

March 1, 2019 – April 30, 2019
No EA exam offered

May 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019
EA exam offered as 2018-19 version, no TCJA, current Exam Content Outlines

July 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
EA exam offered as 2019-20 version, TCJA tested, revised Exam Content Outlines

How does this affect your plans?

This change may be to your advantage! If you planned to take the current EA exam before it changed, you now have 2 more months to do so. If you were planning to start studying for the revised exam, you still can, but we recommend that you study for Part 3 first.

Taking the exam May 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019

If you would like to begin studying for the EA exam and take a section of the exam in the testing window from May 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, you should begin your studies with EA Part 3. Part 3 is conceptual in nature, and it covers the smallest range of topics. Therefore, it is the least time-intensive part to prepare for, and you can easily start studying now and take and pass the exam by mid-May, leaving you more time to study for Part 1 and Part 2.

In addition, Part 3 is less affected by the TCJA than the other parts and will change the least from one version of the exam to the next. So, if you study for Part 3 for this window but do not pass or are unable to take it before June 30, most of what you studied before will still apply.

If you had previously studied for Part 1 and/or Part 2 and were unsuccessful, or were not able to sit for the 2018-19 exam, you can pick up your studies again for those parts as long as you are taking the exam by June 30, 2019.

Taking the exam July 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020

You should not study any of Part(s) 1 or 2 in the 2018 course if you plan to sit on or after July 1, 2019. These parts are undergoing significant changes on the revised exam. You should only begin studying for them once Gleim has released the 2019 edition. If you want to begin studying for the revised EA exam, studying for Part 3 is still your best bet because Part 3 will have comparatively fewer changes between the 2018 and 2019 version of the exam. The 2019 course will be released to allow adequate time for you to prepare for the exam that will launch July 1, 2019.

Gleim is here to help guide you through unexpected changes like these, and our experts are standing by to take your calls and develop a plan that’s best for you!

Have questions? Contact us!

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352.375.0772 (International)