USA Can I become an Enrollment Agent (EA) if I have a felony?


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Hello,

This is embarrassing. I made a mistake 20 years ago that involved a suicide attempt while being under the influence. I did not comply with an officer and received a felony with 2 years probation. I was young and made a regrettable mistake. I have been in the clear since, not even a parking ticket. I understand that after taking the 3 EA exams I must fill out an application with the IRS that asks about criminal activity in the past. Will my felony not allow me to become an EA? I have tried contacting the office of enrollment and they said that i would have to take the tests and filled out the application to find out. Is there a way to get pre-approved by the IRS (they verify that its ok)? It is a lot of work to pass these exams and I would be crushed to find out it was a waste of my time. Anyone have any experiences, advice or what to do? I appreciate the help.
 
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Stephen Gsell

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IRS Form 23 * Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the IRS must be filed after passing all 3 parts of the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). Part 1, Question 10 asks "Have you ever been convicted of a tax crime or any felony?" However, I'd strongly suggest reading Circular 230. Start with Section 10.4(a), 10.5 (particularly (d)(1). It looks as though if you have had any "disreputable conduct" according to Section 10.51 - that may be what they're looking for - and not merely the fact that an applicant has a felony (per se). Tough call though.
 

Stephen Gsell

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I forgot....see p.1 (Circular 230) as well (Title 31 U.S.C. - Practice Before the Department; Section (a)(2). Unfortunately, that may be an issue. It's not right that they can't give you a yes/no answer. I'd hate for anyone to have to go thru all 3 exams too.
 
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Thank you for the information. Yes, I have been crystal clear since that day. About 8 years ago, I was going to college for radiology and had to write a letter to the ARRT prior to get approval for a license which was approved. However, due to having a child at the time and working full-time, i was not able to complete the program. I will probably take the tests for the EA and pray they will accept me. If anyone out there have had similiar issues, please let me know.
 

Stephen Gsell

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In my opinion, I'd actually write a letter to the IRS Return Preparer Office -
https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/enrolled-agents/the-office-of-professional-responsibility-opr-at-a-glance-1

I'd ask them first because Circular 230 - Title 31 U.S.C. - Practice Before the Department; Section (2)(a),(b) refers those representing (a) good character and (b) good reputation. I say this in light of Section 10.51(a)(3). That includes both Federal + State felonies.

It's an awful lot of work and I'd try to get an answer first. Best of luck!
 
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Thank you for the information. Yes, I have been crystal clear since that day. About 8 years ago, I was going to college for radiology and had to write a letter to the ARRT prior to get approval for a license which was approved. However, due to having a child at the time and working full-time, i was not able to complete the program. I will probably take the tests for the EA and pray they will accept me. If anyone out there have had similiar issues, please let me know.
Mr Stevens hi. I'm checking into becoming a enrolled agent. I have a felony for drugs which is 8 years old. Checking to see if you ever found out any info on your journey to become an enrolled agent
 
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