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Enrolled Agent Exam Changes

The Enrolled Agent (EA) exam changes every year, and we are here to help you be prepared for every change. As the most trusted EA exam review provider, more candidates have passed with us than with any other course.

Want to learn about the changes? You will find all you need to know about the new exam changes right here in our comprehensive guide below. You may also find our Free EA Exam Guide and EA practice test questions useful as you take the next step to becoming an Enrolled Agent.

Yearly Enrolled Agent Exam Changes Summary

The Enrolled Agent exam changes each year after the close of the Spring tax season to reflect the previous year’s tax law. Enrolled Agent exam candidates will see these changes each May when the exam window opens, and they will stay in effect through the following February. These changes are made only to the content and do not include changes to the administration or format of the exam.

When the IRS or Prometric plans more drastic changes, such as changes to the exam format, they are announced in advance. We have compiled current, upcoming, and past changes for Enrolled Agent candidates to be aware of.

Why the Enrolled Agent Exam Changes

In addition to the yearly changes, the IRS commissioned Prometric to do a job analysis of the tasks performed by and the knowledge required to become a tax preparer or tax accountant. Analyses like this are usually completed every couple of years to ensure the Enrolled Agent exam accurately reflects the tasks required of a tax preparer.

The EA exam is meant to reflect the current role of Enrolled Agents and tax preparers in the United States, and as that role changes, the exam is updated to keep pace. This is mostly seen in the yearly updates to the exam content for updated tax law; however, more drastic changes are also a part of keeping the exam consistent with the demands of the public.

2024 Enrolled Agent Exam Changes

For the 2024-2025 testing window, there are a few changes to fees and testing window for how long candidates have to pass all three parts of the EA exam.

PTIN Price Changing

Renewing your PTIN is now $19.75

EA Exam Price Changing

The testing fee is $259 for each part of the exam

EA Testing Window Extended to Three Years Permanently

Candidates have three years after passing their first part to finish the other two parts to receive their EA. At first this was introduced as a temporary rule due to COVID-19, but it has been made into a permanent change

How to prepare for Enrolled Agent exam changes

Whenever the Enrolled Agent exam changes, candidates have a lot of questions about how it is going to affect them. Use our Enrolled Agent exam changes resources to ensure you have a plan for the EA exam, no matter what kind of changes are announced.

Should I plan to pass before the Enrolled Agent exam changes?

When Enrolled Agent exam changes are significant, you may not want to be among the first candidates to take the new version of the exam.

We know from experience that it can be hard to prepare for a newly-revised exam. The unknowns you face when taking a revised exam can create exam anxiety and undermine your confidence, as you aren’t able to rely on other test takers’ experiences. Many candidates try to quickly finish the exam before changes take effect to avoid the unknowns of the new exam.

In general, our advice is to pass the EA exam as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you pass all three parts of the EA exam, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits of being a EA. Avoiding anxiety is another bonus to quickly passing the exam. But take stock of your circumstances. If you can’t realistically make time to prepare, there’s no reason to sit for an exam you won’t pass.

Benefits of taking the EA exam before major changes

You can avoid having to test on entirely new material.

This is probably the most obvious advantage, but we’re mentioning it anyway. If you take the EA exam before it changes, you’re not going to have to worry about studying material that is brand new to the exam (and “untested” on EA candidates).

If you pass one part, you won’t lose credit!

This is important because it means you don’t have to rush to pass all parts of the exam before changes take affect. Even if you only pass one part, that is still great! Credit for any part of the exam you’ve already taken remains valid for up to two (2) or three (3) years. For any part you pass before the exam changes, you don’t have to take the new version of that part even though the exam has changed.

The deadline is a great motivator.

If you have a hard time motivating yourself, having an outside deadline is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Many EA candidates are professionals who juggle commitments outside of work. You may not have an abundance of time to study, but having a firm deadline can help make your studies a priority

How should I prepare for the new material on the EA exam?

By carefully examining all EA exam changes each year, we ensure our material is up-to-date with plenty of time for you to sit for the EA exam annually. Regardless of what your plans are for the EA exam, working with an EA review provider will ensure you’re prepared.

Benefits of taking the EA exam after major changes

You’re testing on the most up-to-date material.

The EA exam changes for a good reason: to keep pace with the industry’s developing expectations for Enrolled Agents. This could be anything from small changes due to a minor tax update or a significant overhaul because of a new tax law. Regardless, testing with the most up-to-date material will ensure your skills best match the current or expected industry demand. If you’re currently in the workforce, it’s likely you’re already familiar with the content the EA exam is going to add, since the exam will be testing topics used in the Spring tax season.

You’ll have more time to complete your studies.

While only a minor concern for most people, getting a testing appointment at a particular time or testing center can be a big deal for some candidates. When the EA exam changes, many candidates hurry to sit for the exam before the changes take effect. This can cause testing centers to fill up quickly, especially toward the end of a testing window before the EA exam changes. If you’re going to try to take the exam before it changes, be sure you make your testing appointment early.

Other Enrolled Agent Exam Info

Whenever the Enrolled Agent exam changes, candidates have a lot of questions about how it is going to affect them. Use our Enrolled Agent exam changes resources to ensure you have a plan for the EA exam, no matter what kind of changes are announced.

International testing locations

Prometric and the IRS opened testing to a few international locations at specified times. The IRS and Prometric will announce future testing dates yearly to accommodate international candidates.

For 2024-2025, The IRS and Prometric have eligible testing areas to the following cities and dates:

June 10th – 21st, 2024

June 22nd – 28th, 2024

Bangalore, India

Hyderabad, India

London, England

New Delhi, India

Seoul, Korea

Tokyo, Japan

Toronto, Canada

Bangalore, India

Hyderabad, India

New Delhi, India

15-minute break

The IRS and Prometric added a break into the 3 1/2 hour exam time. The break is 15 minutes long and is granted once the candidate has submitted their first 50 questions to be graded. Candidates will not be given the opportunity to return to these 50 questions after they have submitted them. Candidates must manage their time wisely to ensure they have ample time to answer both halves of the exam.

During the break, candidates may use the restroom and eat or drink any snacks brought to the testing center. They are also able to relax in the lobby. Prometric’s security protocols must still be followed at all times during this break, including not using any electronic devices or phones. Candidates who choose to leave the testing room (not the testing center) will need to sign in again and show identification to be readmitted.

After 15 minutes, the exam timer will restart. If the candidate does not return to take the second half (questions 51-100) before the 15-minute break expires, they will lose valuable testing time.

Unscheduled breaks are still allowed, but the exam timer will not be paused if the candidate chooses to take one.

How the Enrolled Agent exam has changed in the past


2023 Enrolled Agent Exam Changes

No major changes were made for the 2023 Enrolled Agent Exam, besides the scheduling fee for each part increasing from $203 to $206.

2021 Enrolled Agent Exam Changes

Prometric and the IRS are making changes to the EA exam that will appear on the EA exam beginning in May of 2021. Changes were only made to the content tested on the exam, including examples on topics already tested. There were also minor updates made to the administration of the exam.

Changes to the exam based on the CARES act will become testable May 1, 2021 along with the additional changes. We have outlined the sections affected by COVID Relief Legislation and the CARES act. Next to each topic you will see a number in parenthesis. The number indicates the domain and subdomain the topic can be found on the Enrolled Agent exam syllabus.


Changes to Part 1


Domain 4, “Taxation and Advice,” is being split into two separate domains: “Taxation” and “Advising the Individual Taxpayer.” The topics themselves changed only slightly, but breaking them into distinct domains should help candidates better prepare for these different types of questions. The weights of the remaining domains have also been adjusted to account for the new domain and to give more significance to the “Taxation” domain.

SEE Part 1 DomainsNew % of the examOld % of the exam
1. Preliminary Work and Taxpayer Data16%20%
2. Income and Assets20%25%
3. Deductions and Credits20%25%
4. Taxation*18%16%
5. Advising the Individual Taxpayer*13%0%
6. Specialized Returns for Individuals13%14%

*The old Domain named “Taxation and Advice” was split into two separate domains called “Taxation” and “Advising the Individual Taxpayer”.

Content Added

Content was added for residential energy credits, penalty for perjury, mid-year estimated tax planning, Forms 1099-NEC and 1099-K, antique property sales, as well as a minor addition to the nonqualified use rules about military exemption.

Tax provisions for members of the military

Penalty of perjury

Content Removed

A lot of irrelevant material was removed from EA Part 1, including outdated or expired material about Voluntary Disclosure Programs and Transition Tax. “Real Property Rental Income” was moved from EA Part 1 and will be covered in EA Part 2.

Taxability of net unrealized appreciation (NUA)

Tax Planning: Advantages and disadvantages of MFJ/MFS/HOH filing statuses in various scenarios

Healthcare individual responsibility payment and exceptions

Ownership of a foreign corporation

Tax Planning: Adjustments, deductions, and credits for tax planning

International voluntary disclosure options.

Tax Planning: Character of transaction

Content Revised

Many sections were revised and edited for clarity, such as changing “Rental Income” to “Personal Property Rental.”

COVID Relief Legislation

  • Net operating loss (2.1)
  • Student loans and employer payments (2.1)
  • Required minimum distribution (2.2)
  • Charitable contributions (2.4 and 3.1)
  • Minimum tax credit (4.1)
  • Employment tax (4.1)
  • Advising the taxpayer (5.1) – RMD and NOL


Changes to Part 2


Domains 1 and 2 have been renamed for clarification. Domain 1 (now “Business Entities and Considerations”) was given slightly more weight over Domain 2 (now “Business Tax Preparation.”)

SEE Part 2 DomainsNew % of the examOld % of the exam
1. Business Entities and Considerations*35%33%
2. Business Tax Preparation*44%46%
3. Specialized Returns and Taxpayers21%21%

*These Domains have been renamed.

Content Added

EA Part 2 now tests Rental Property (formerly in EA Part 1) and Partnership Level Audit and Opt Out (formerly in EA Part 3). A fifth subdomain has been added under Domain 3, “Specialized Returns and Taxpayers,” to focus on Rental Property.

Partnership cancellation of debt

Commercial rentals vs residential rentals (from EA Part 1)

Partnership level audit and opt-out (from EA Part 3)

Mixed-used property/vacation home (from EA Part 1)

Vehicle use and expenses

Passive loss limitation (from EA Part 1)

Balance sheet’s relationship to income statement and depreciation

Rental income (from EA Part 1)

Real estate professional qualifications

Content Removed

Much like EA Part 1, a lot of outdated and irrelevant material was removed from EA Part 2.

Corporations: International information reporting and taxes

Farm inventory

S corporations: Non-cash distributions

Disposition of farm assets

Income in respect of a decendent

Content Revised

Similar to EA Part 1, many topics within EA Part 2 were revised for clarity. Testing of these topics has more or less stayed the same, but candidates have a clearer idea of what to study.

Domain 2 is now titled “Business Tax Preparation” instead of “Business Financial Information

COVID Relief Legislation

  • Minimum tax credit (1.3)
  • FICA (2.5)
  • Net operating loss (2.2)
  • Qualified improvement property (2.2)
  • Interest expense (2.2)
  • Required minimum retirement distribution (3.3)


Changes to Part 3


Many of these changes involved clarifying topics or reorganizing them. Domain 3 was renamed “Specific Areas of Representation.”

SEE Part 3 DomainsNew % of the examOld % of the exam
1. Practices and Procedures31%30%
2. Representation before the IRS29%28%
3. Specific Areas of Representation*24%22%
4. Filing Process*16%20%

*These Domains have been renamed.

Content Added

EA Part 3 had only one topic added: “Taxpayer’s Burden of Proof.”

Content Removed

The entirety of subdomain 4.2, “Information Shared with Taxpayer,” has been removed.

Tax shelters

Employment reimbursement policies

IRS notices

Case being reported

Innocent spouse

Partnership level audit and opt-out (moved to EA2)

Preparer conflict of interest

Inconsistencies within the source data

Recordkeeping requirements

Significance of signature

List of returns prepared

Due diligence requirements

Consequences of dishonesty

Content Revised

“Special Rules for Partnership Audits” was moved from Part 3 to Part 2 of the exam.

2021 Enrolled Agent Exam Changes FAQs

If I have to take a part testing the new exam content, do I get credit for parts I previously passed under the current exam content?
Yes, as long as you have credit for those parts passed (if it’s been less than 2 or 3 years* since you have passed them) you will retain credit even if you sit for the remaining parts after May 2021.

*For any exam parts that had not expired as of February 29, 2020 and any examination parts passed on June 1, 2020 or later, candidates were given an extension on the normal 2 year period to pass all 3 parts of the EA exams. Read our blog for more information.

When does the window testing the current exam content end?
Testing for the 2020 version of the exam will cease on February 28, 2021. There is no testing in March or April.

When will the updated exam begin?
The new version of the exam will begin testing on May 1, 2021.

When will registration begin for the new exam?
Registration for the new version of the exam will begin on March 1, 2021.

2020 Enrolled Agent Changes

A few administrative changes were made to the Enrolled Agent exam in 2020 in addition to the normal content changes, but no major changes.

2018 Enrolled Agent Changes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was first testable in 2018. To accompany this addition, we have a separate blog detailing these changes. The current version of the EA exam has implemented the changes that are still relevant, and as always the Gleim Premium Enrolled Agent Review System has been updated as well.