Continuing Education

NAEA’s emphasis on continuing education (CE) provides a means for our members and associates to maintain their designation and sustain a high level of expertise with the ever-changing tax code. Continuing education also provides an important networking opportunity to form significant work contacts.

NAEA requirements for membership exceed the Internal Revenue Service’s standards: members, associates and academic associates must acquire 30 hours of CE per calendar year. Members who are on “inactive retired status” under Circular 230 qualify for NAEA Emeritus status and are exempt from the education requirement.

NAEA requires members attest to the number of CE hours taken on a yearly basis, prior to or concurrent with the renewal process. Members attest to the hours taken during the preceding calendar year. In accordance with IRS requirements for enrollment renewal, members and associates must earn at least 2 hours of Ethics in each calendar year.

NAEA bylaws stipulate that all members meet the CE requirement, but NAEA recognizes this may not always be possible. Therefore, NAEA allows members to carry back (members who report less than 30 hours must earn the missing CE hours in the next calendar year, in addition to the 30 hours required for the current year). Members may not carry forward. For more information regarding carry back, please see CE Attestation Form. 

For those members with extenuating circumstances, a one-time CE waiver can be submitted to the NAEA Board of Directors. For more information on the waiver, please see NAEA Dues CE Waiver

Enrolled agents who receive their card during the current year must complete a total of at least 2 hours of CE per month for the remainder of that year. Enrollment in any part of the month (i.e., January 31 or February 28) is considered enrollment for the entire month. 

To qualify as CE for NAEA, 

  • Be CE as defined by IRS guidance. To qualify as IRS continuing education credit, a course of learning must: (i) Be a program designed to enhance knowledge in Federal taxation or Federal tax related matters (programs comprised of current subject matter in Federal taxation or Federal tax related matters, including accounting, tax return preparation software, taxation, or ethics) (ii) Be a qualifying continuing education program consistent with the Internal Revenue Code and effective tax administration. More information on IRS qualified CE and sponsoring education program details may be found online at
  • CE in the areas of state and local taxation or practice management will be eligible for purposes of the additional hours of CE required by NAEA. Members may report up to 6 hours per calendar year towards meeting their NAEA requirement. 

CE can be earned with NAEA at the National Conference or from your living room with EA Journal Exams and Level 1 OnlineStill have questions? Please visit the Online Education FAQs.

Certificates from earned CE can be obtained at any time be visiting the Transcript page found in the member menu. You must log in to access this page. 

Please contact NAEA’s Education Department at 202-822-NAEA (6232) or with questions.

Internal Revenue Service Renewal Requirements

IRS requirements for continuing education differ from NAEA’s requirements. In order to maintain the license, enrolled agents must complete 72 hours within a 3 year cycle based on the last digit of their social security number. The IRS CE reporting period is by calendar year, January 1 through December 31. The IRS enforces a 16 hour minimum per year, and requires 2 hours on Ethics per year. To summarize, if your SSN ends with

  • 0, 1, 2 or 3 -- your renewal cycle is between November 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016; 
  • 4, 5 or 6 -- your renewal cycle is between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017; 
  • 7, 8 or 9 -- your renewal cycle is between November 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015; 
  • Foreign citizens without SSNs but enrolled to practice before the IRS should renew along with those enrolled agents having a SSN ending in 9.

IRS renewal and address change information can be found on the IRS website here

Circular 230 is the document governing the establishment of the enrolled agent license. Download Circular 230

© 2014 National Association of Enrolled Agents