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IRS Says Shutdown Affected EA Renewals

Expiring Enrollments to be Extended

While the headline might seem a month late, the IRS recently reminded enrolled agents (EAs) that the effects of the government shutdown didn’t suddenly come to an end on January 25 when the president signed a stopgap spending bill. In addition to forcing the cancellation of Tax Court sessions and prompting the IRS to create an updated lapsed appropriations contingency plan, the government shutdown created a logjam in the enrolled agent renewal process.

Any delay in processing renewals could create uncertainty for EAs whose enrollment will expire on March 31, 2019, especially if they were scheduled to represent a client in Tax Court after the expiry date. To nip any possible issues in the bud, the agency announced that it will “automatically extended enrollment card expiration for the current renewal cycle”—meaning EAs with a Social Security number ending in 0, 1, 2, or 3 who submitted their renewal paperwork don’t have to worry about their designation lapsing while the IRS catches up.

That said, there are undoubtedly affected EAs who did not submit their renewal before the January deadline. Since renewal processing is completed “on a first in, first out basis,” the IRS strongly recommends those enrolled agents “do so immediately at Pay.gov.” Here are the three steps the agency lists for renewing:

  1. “Have an active preparer tax identification number (PTIN).
  2. Complete a minimum of 16 hours CE each year of your enrollment cycle for a total 72 hours. In addition, 2 hours of ethics, or professional conduct must be completed during each enrollment year. EXCEPTION: If this is your first renewal, you must complete 2 hours of CE for each month of your enrollment, including 2 hours of ethics, or professional conduct each year.
  3. Pay the $30 non-refundable renewal fee. This fee applies regardless of your enrollment status.”

Ryan Norton

Whether designing superheroes, penciling caricatures, or just doodling, I always knew I was going to earn some sort of art degree while in college. That was my goal before I decided to trade Edgar Degas for Edgar Allan Poe during a Freshman English class. The BA in English soon morphed into a double-major in English and Philosophy, eventually becoming an MA in English. It only makes sense that I learned of a writing opportunity for a local marketing firm while teaching a first-year college English course. Before I knew it, I was writing and editing tax-related articles for Taxing Subjects, and this has been my home since 2014.

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