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What Happens After You Pass the Enrolled Agent Exam?

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Analysis paralysis gets the best of us at one time or another. I see it all too often with my fellow Enrolled Agents after they pass the Special Enrollment Exam to become an EA. I don't want it to happen to you. I recently shared this information in a LinkedIn article. But I want to make sure that you, my loyal reader also have it.

That's why I'm going to share three steps to help you establish your path for your journey as an EA.


I also did a LinkedIn livestream on this topic. So if you're more of a video person feel free to check that out here or get the recap on YouTube.




As I tell my podcast listeners, go ahead and get your pen and paper. If you're getting ready to take the exam or just passed it you will want to implement these steps as soon as possible. So get your notes ready so you can write down when you'll make time to follow these steps.


1 - Establish your Why


This sounds cliché but it is very important. Here's why, representing taxpayers before the IRS is more flexible than doing taxes. But it can also be more stressful because of the taxpayers and working with the IRS.


Think about it. If you're representing someone before the IRS you're doing it because it's a financial problem they cannot handle alone. The second greatest fear, after public speaking is the IRS. So imagine owing the IRS. Your clients will be on edge most of the time until the problem is gone.


Unless you haven't heard, the IRS is severely understaffed and a lot of the new agents don't know what they are doing. This can make your job easier or more challenging. It depends on who picks up the phone when you call or gets assigned to your case.


These variables can result in an emotional rollercoaster for all parties involved. Are you really willing to deal with that all the time? I often tell my fellow tax professionals that the money may draw you to representation but it won't keep you here.


Why do you want to do tax representation?


If it doesn't come right to your mind take some time to be quiet and figure out what that is today. Write it down and look at it every day. So when you have those days you want to give up you can refer to it.


Let me share my why.


I'm on a mission to fill the tax literacy gap one taxpayer at a time. One of the ways I do that is by representing taxpayers before the IRS. In the process, I educate them so they don't end up back in the same situation. The results from that are what keeps me going and doing it week after week. Some of the impact I've had is:


  • Assisting other EAs to lower their client's tax liability.

  • Money returned that the IRS levied

  • Helping clients buy a home

  • Helping clients sell a home

  • Marriages staying together

  • The IRS returning passports

These are just a few things but when days get rough I remember what it is all about, the impact.


2 - Set your Impact Goals as an Enrolled Agent


Yes, impact goals not income goals. Don't get me wrong, income is very important. But, I'm not willing to make myself unhappy for any amount of money. Maybe you're different but I'm betting that you don't want to have all the money you desire and be miserable.

This rolls right off of establishing your why. Once you know why you do what you do you should track if you're staying true to that.

I shared my why with you, to fill the tax literacy gap one taxpayer at a time. When I look at the ways I do that I make my goals include that.


Last year I started a podcast, Tax Relief with Timalyn Bowens. I had a goal to reach a certain number of streams/taxpayers with the podcast. The feedback from listeners let me know I reached that goal.


A more recent goal was for 2023. I want to reach more taxpayers on my YouTube channel. So in December of 2022, I set a goal to have 1,000 subscribers by December 31st, 2023. I was able to reach that goal in July of 2023, 5 months early.


These impact goals let me know that I am staying on track with hitting my why every day. I also know that it is my why and part of me fulfilling my purpose because I would be putting out that content even if I didn't get paid for it.

I was not able to do all of this on my own though. Which takes me to #3.


3 - Find your Community


When you become an EA community is everything. Especially if you are an entrepreneur with your own practice. We need each other to survive. My community helped me stay focused to work toward and achieve my goals.


When I get distracted by something that may take me away from my why my community is there to help me re-focus. They keep me accountable for not only my goals but taking care of myself and improving my craft.


Who do you have like that in your life right now?


If you don't have anyone right now here are some things that I recommend looking for in a good community.


  • People with integrity.

  • Mixture of people at all levels: where you want to be and at your level.

  • Like-minded individuals that understand your goals.

  • Someone that you don't mind sharing your income goals with.

  • A place you can find answers or can point you in the right direction.


Those are just a few things. I am in a few communities myself and also have mentors.

We are transparent with each other and push each other to reach our goals. My mentors are there when I need them for support in business management as well as case support.


Does this sound like something you need?


Join my Community


One of the impact goals that I have for this Fall is to help more tax professionals feel comfortable in the role of tax representation. I have tax professionals reach out to me each week for guidance on mindset, cases, and business in general. I am only one person so instead of offering 1:1 consultations and support I'm bringing you the Tax Pro's Representation Journey.

This community will launch on my 34th birthday, Monday, September 18th, 2023.

It will include a private podcast that will only be available to those who subscribe. The podcast will go out each Monday. In addition to that a private article will also go out on Wednesdays.


I'll discuss the different challenges that we face as Enrolled Agents. But there will also be practical steps you can implement to help you work through that challenge. I'll also be walking you through case studies from different cases that I have had.

In addition to this, there will be a community within the app so you have access to me. You will be able to ask questions about current cases you have as well as talk to me about the articles and podcasts.


This is for you! So your input determines the content that I will put out. This will enable me to address your most pressing challenges and concerns. If you're interested in subscribing visit my page right here: The Tax Pro's Representation Journey


It is a monthly subscription so if you don't think it's a good fit for you, no problem. You can unsubscribe at any time. But it is a subscription like Netflix. So once you unsubscribe you will lose access to all podcasts and articles.


Summary


Once you pass the exam don't get stuck like a deer caught in the headlights. Establish your why and keep it somewhere that you can view it daily. Once you've established your why make impact goals surrounding that why. That will help you keep on track and true to your why. It's hard to do alone. Find your community that will hold you accountable for reaching your goals. If you are looking for community and pocket coaching in the representation realm, you are welcome to join The Tax Pro's Representation Journey.

 

Timalyn S. Bowens EA is America's Favorite EA and Tax Expert who will work hard to find a customized legal solution for you! As an Enrolled Agent licensed through the Internal Revenue Service Timalyn is able to fight the IRS for taxpayers in all 50 states. As the host of Tax Relief with Timalyn Bowens and a YouTube content creator she empowers taxpayers to make educated decisions about their tax situation.


When you are facing questions regarding your personal or business taxes, working with a professional makes all the difference. At Bowens Tax Solutions, we serve our Louisville-area neighbors by providing the tax services and knowledge needed to succeed. We are here to assist you with your tax issues and preventative care. Visit our website at www.bowenstaxsolutions.com for more information.


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