Immediate Release
Brandy Spears


New Survey Reveals EAs Support Extending the 2020 Filing Season Deadline

Enrolled agents identify lack of IRS guidance surrounding PPP loans as number one issue for which additional guidance is needed

A new survey conducted by the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) reveals that most enrolled agents, federally-licensed tax experts, would like to see the tax deadline extended this year and believe that the delayed start of the tax season will have a negative impact on processing returns.

The online survey presented a series of questions asking members to select topics that they feel the IRS could provide more guidance for, to rank challenges and concerns for the 2020 filing season, and to estimate how they expect their businesses to perform this year compared to last.

The questions were grouped into three broad categories: IRS guidance (which topics could the IRS provide additional information), tax code and regulations (tax updates December 2020), and the expected impact on revenue generated.

Delayed Start of Tax Season

Of the 1,326 respondents, 72 percent of EAs believe the delayed start of the tax season will have a negative impact on processing returns and 60 percent of those survey would like to see the tax deadline extended this year.

IRS Guidance for Tax Law Changes of 2020

Despite the guidance offered by the IRS following the tax law changes in December 2020, EAs identified the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as the number one topic for which they feel the need for additional guidance. Respondents also identified the Family First Coronavirus Response Act as second and the CARES Act as third.

Outlook Ahead

Members were asked what they perceived to be the biggest challenges for the 2020 filing season and to rank each item in order of importance. Both IRS operations (37 percent) and tax code and regulation changes due to COVID-19 (35 percent) were closely ranked as the number one challenge for this tax season. NAEA membership also believes that taxpayer unpreparedness (11 percent) and late or incorrect tax documentation (9 percent) will be the main issues impacting the filing season.

According to NAEA Executive Vice President Megan Killian, enrolled agents will be an essential asset to taxpayers this season.

“NAEA continues to support and advocate for enrolled agents and the profession. Our members are tax experts representing the most skilled demographic of tax prep and IRS representation and are one of the strongest resource taxpayers have at their disposal. The expertise of our EAs is an especially important resource following the many tax law changes of the 2020 tax year. I encourage taxpayers in need to use the free ‘Find a Tax Expert’ directory at to find a federally-licensed enrolled agent to meet their needs,” says Killian. “Because of COVID-19 and the tax changes that came along with it, we certainly expect tax prep to continue evolving, and enrolled agents will be your best resource to help you navigate the challenges of this tax season and for financial planning in the year ahead.”

Survey Methodology
The National Association of Enrolled Agents conducted an online survey of its members between February 5, 2021, and February 11, 2021. The survey yielded responses from 1,326 NAEA members, all enrolled agents. Click here to view full survey findings.