The questions on the examination are directed toward the tasks that enrolled agents must perform to complete and file forms and tax returns and to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service.
The examination covers federal taxation and tax accounting and the use of tax return forms for individuals, partnerships, corporations, trusts, estates, and gifts. It also covers ethical considerations and procedural requirements. The IRS has published Exam Content Outlines, which outline the subject matter tested on the EA exam. The outlines are divided by Part and then subdivided into Sections. Each section has one or more topics, which are further divided into specific items. The outlines are meant to reflect the knowledge needed for tasks performed by EAs.
The listing below contains the main sections for each part of the exam. Note that each section contains the approximate number of items (out of 100 total for each part) that belong under that section.
PART 1 – INDIVIDUALS (100 items)
Section 1: Preliminary Work and Tax Payer Data (15 items)
Section 2: Income and Assets (25 items)
Section 3: Deductions and Credits (25 items)
Section 4: Taxation and Advice (20 items)
Section 5: Specialized Returns for Individuals (15 items)
PART 2 – BUSINESSES (100 items)
Section 1: Businesses (45 items)
Section 2: Business Financial Information (40 items)
Section 3: Specialized Returns and Tax Payers (15 items)
PART 3 – REPRESENTATION, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES (100 items)
Section 1: Practices and Procedures (33 items)
Section 2: Representation before the IRS (25 items)
Section 3: Specific Types of Representation (25 items)
Section 4: Completion of the Filing Process (17 items)