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Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772

How to Maintain Your Enrolled Agent Credential

You already put in the hours to become an Enrolled Agent. Now, it’s important to maintain your credential by meeting the IRS’s requirements. EAs maintain their status by renewing their PTIN annually, completing Enrolled Agent continuing education requirements, and applying for enrollment renewal. We’ve outlined everything you need to do to keep your Enrolled Agent credential up to date.

EA PTIN renewal

Enrolled Agents need to renew their PTIN with the IRS every year. The renewal window runs from mid-October to December 31. You can renew your PTIN either online or by mail.

How to renew your PTIN online

1. Head to the IRS’s website Opens in new window
2. Log into your online PTIN account
3. Fill out the renewal application
4. Pay the $30.75 renewal fee

It should only take you 15 minutes, and once you complete these steps your PTIN will be renewed.

How to renew your PTIN by mail

1. Fill out Form W-12 Opens in new window
2. Mail the completed form and a payment of $30.75 to the IRS

This is the slower method and will take up to 4-6 weeks to complete, so be sure to plan ahead and give yourself some buffer time if you choose this method. If you’re able to renew online, we recommend choosing that method.

Enrolled Agent Continuing Education (CE) requirements

To remain active, you also need to keep up with the EA Continuing Education requirements. The IRS sets three-year Renewal Cycles based on the last digit of your SSN. EAs need to complete 72 hours of Continuing Education every three-year Renewal Cycle.

These Renewal Cycle charts make it easy to track (EAs without an SSN are also included in the charts).

SSN Ends In Renewal Cycle Renewal Application Period Renewal Cycle Expiration
7, 8, 9, or no SSN 2021-2024 November 1, 2023-January 31, 2024 March 31, 2024
0, 1, 2, 3 2022-2025 November 1, 2024-January 31, 2025 March 31, 2025
4, 5, 6 2023-2026 November 1, 2025-January 31, 2026 March 31, 2026
First Renewal Cycle CE Requirements
SSN Ends InYear of EnrollmentCalendar Month Enrollment GrantedRenewal Cycle
7, 8, 9, or no SSN20217270686664626058565452502021-2024
0, 1, 2, 320227270686664626058565452502022-2025
4, 5, 620237270686664626058565452502023-2026

To help newly certified EAs complete their Enrolled Agent CE requirements, our Premium Enrolled Agent Review System comes with up to 72 free CE hours! You’ll get 72 hours if you buy the 3-part set and 16 hours if you purchase by individual part. These hours can be applied toward any tax course in our CE course catalog.

Your first Renewal Cycle

Use the chart above to determine the number of Enrolled Agent CE hours you need to complete for your first Renewal Cycle. Newly enrolled EAs won’t have to complete the full 72 hours of CE because they haven’t been enrolled for the full three-year cycle.

You need to complete two hours for each month you’ve had your Enrolled Agent credential by the end of the your first Renewal Cycle. Additionally, two of those CE hours must be in ethics for each year you are enrolled in your first Renewal Cycle. For example, let’s say your SSN ends in 4, 5, or 6, and you’re enrolled in December of this year for the 2023 cycle. That means you only have to complete two hours of CE and they must be in ethics.

While you must complete two hours of CE for each month you’re enrolled, you don’t need to complete two hours each month. The IRS gives you flexibility to complete your hours at any time during a given year. You can complete them all up front in the first month you’re enrolled or wait until December and complete them all before December 31.

We recommend getting your Enrolled Agent Continuing Education done earlier, if possible.

After your first Renewal Cycle

You’ll need to complete 72 hours of EA Continuing Education every Renewal Cycle. The IRS requires you to complete a minimum of 16 CE hours each year (2 of which must be in ethics). This CE can be done at any point during the year, but must be completed by December 31. We’ve outlined some example Enrolled Agent CE schedules to show you how you could break up your hours over the three-year period.

Example Continuing Education Schedule 1
Year 1 24
Year 2 24
Year 3 24
Example Continuing Education Schedule 2
Year 1 16
Year 2 16
Year 3 40
Example Continuing Education Schedule 3
Year 1 16
Year 2 28
Year 3 28

You can break up your hours however you like as long as you complete a minimum of 16 hours each year and 72 hours total over the 3-year period.

Enrolled Agent renewal

You’ll need to complete the IRS EA renewal requirement every three years. To do this, you’ll submit a form to apply for renewal of enrollment to practice before the IRS. You can either apply online or by mail, similar to when you first applied to become an Enrolled Agent.

How to apply to renew enrollment online

1. Go to Opens in new window
2. Fill out Form 8554
3. Pay the $140 renewal fee
4. Submit your application

How to apply to renew enrollment by mail

1. Print and fill out Form 8554 Opens in new window
2. Write a check or money order for $140 payable to the United States Treasury
3. Mail the completed form and your payment to the IRS

Once you’ve submitted your application by either method, the IRS will process your Enrolled Agent renewal application and do a tax compliance check. It’ll take around 90 days for the IRS to process your application. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your new enrollment card and your status will be renewed.

Get started now!

Start chipping away at your CE hour requirements. Gleim is an IRS-approved EA Continuing Education Provider, and we offer two packages of Enrolled Agent CE! Our online courses give you flexibility to complete your CE requirements at home whenever works for you. Our CE course catalog includes topics that range from yearly tax updates to specific scenarios you may encounter as an Enrolled Agent. Plus, we’ll report to the IRS for you!