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Top 11 Revenue Agent Certifications

This article explores the most sought-after certifications for revenue agents to help them stay ahead in their field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a revenue agent in the job market because they demonstrate that an individual has a high level of expertise in the field. Certifications serve as proof of a candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities, which can give employers greater confidence in hiring them. Additionally, certifications can provide access to exclusive professional networks and resources that can help with career advancement. Finally, certifications can often lead to higher salaries or promotions within an organization.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Revenue Agents and explain how they can help to further a revenue agent's career.

What are Revenue Agent Certifications?

Revenue agent certification is a professional designation awarded by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who have completed specialized training and demonstrated expertise in tax law and compliance. The certification is designed to provide assurance that the person has achieved a level of knowledge and understanding necessary to serve taxpayers effectively.

Revenue agent certification can help taxpayers in many ways. Certified agents are more likely to be up-to-date on current tax laws and regulations, which means they can better advise their clients on how to comply with them. Certified agents are also more likely to be able to detect potential errors or inaccuracies in tax returns that could result in penalties or other issues for taxpayers if not corrected. Furthermore, certified agents typically have access to additional resources such as IRS publications or tools that can help them better understand the complexities of tax law, which can be beneficial for both their clients and themselves. Finally, having a certified revenue agent on your side may make it easier for you to navigate the complex process of filing taxes and reduce your risk of making mistakes or omissions that could result in penalties or other issues down the line.

Pro Tip: When obtaining revenue agent certification, make sure to take advantage of any available online or in-person training opportunities. This will help ensure that you have the most up-to-date knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as a revenue agent.

Related: What does a Revenue Agent do?

Top 11 Revenue Agent Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Revenue Agents today.

1. Certified Revenue Agent (CRA)

A Certified Revenue Agent (CRA) is a professional designation granted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in the area of taxation and revenue collection. The CRA designation is highly sought after by tax professionals, as it helps them stand out from their peers and demonstrates their commitment to providing quality service to their clients.

To become a Certified Revenue Agent, an individual must pass the IRS Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) with a score of 80% or higher. The exam consists of three parts: Tax Law & Procedures, Professional Responsibilities & Ethics, and Representation & Practice. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and costs $116 for each part.

In addition to passing the SEE, applicants must also have at least two years of professional experience in tax law or related fields. Applicants must also meet certain educational requirements including having obtained either a bachelor’s degree in accounting or equivalent coursework from an accredited college or university, or having completed at least 24 semester hours in accounting-related courses at an accredited college or university.

Once all the requirements are met, applicants can apply for the CRA designation through the IRS website. The application fee is $100 and processing time typically takes 4-6 weeks after all required documents have been received.

2. Certified Tax Professional (CTP)

Certified Tax Professional (CTP) is a professional designation awarded by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). It is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the field of taxation.

To become a CTP, you must meet certain educational and experience requirements. These include holding a bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting or finance, completing at least three years of full-time tax preparation experience, and passing an examination administered by the NATP. The exam covers topics such as federal taxation, individual taxation, business taxation, estate and trust taxation, ethics, and other related topics.

It typically takes about six months to complete the process of becoming a CTP. During this time you will need to complete the required coursework and pass the exam. Once you have completed all of these steps, you can apply for your CTP certification from NATP.

The cost of becoming a CTP varies depending on the type of program you choose to take. Generally speaking, it will cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 to become certified. This includes course fees, exam fees, application fees, and any other associated costs.

Once you become certified as a CTP, you can use this designation to demonstrate your expertise in the field of taxation to potential employers or clients. This can help increase your earning potential as well as open up new job opportunities in the field of tax preparation and consulting.

3. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional designation granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). CPAs are licensed to provide financial advice and services to individuals, businesses, and other organizations. They are subject to rigorous ethical standards and must adhere to a strict code of conduct.

In order to become a CPA, you must meet certain educational requirements, pass the Uniform CPA Examination, and be licensed by your state's Board of Accountancy. The educational requirements vary by state but typically include completing 150 semester hours of college coursework in accounting and related topics such as economics, business law, finance, taxation, auditing, and ethics. Most states also require applicants to have at least one year of experience working in public accounting or related fields.

The Uniform CPA Exam is administered twice each year by the AICPA and consists of four sections: Auditing & Attestation; Business Environment & Concepts; Financial Accounting & Reporting; and Regulation. Each section takes approximately four hours to complete. The exam is offered at testing centers throughout the US and costs $1,400 for all four sections.

The cost for becoming a CPA varies depending on the state in which you are applying for licensure. In addition to the cost of taking the exam ($1,400), you will likely need to pay an application fee ($50-$200), licensing fees ($75-$500), background check fees ($50-$100), fingerprinting fees ($50-$100), continuing education fees ($100-$300 per year), and other miscellaneous costs such as travel expenses or study materials.

4. Enrolled Agent (EA)

Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federal tax practitioner who is licensed by the United States Department of Treasury and has unlimited practice rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled Agents are authorized to prepare, sign, and submit tax returns to the IRS on behalf of taxpayers. They are also allowed to represent taxpayers in audits, collections, and appeals.

It typically takes about three months from the time an individual submits their application until they receive their Enrolled Agent license from the IRS. To become an EA, applicants must pass a three-part exam focusing on individual and business tax returns. The exam covers topics such as taxation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts/estates, and ethics.

The cost for taking the EA exam varies depending on where you take it and which parts you take. Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$800 for all three parts of the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining your license once you have passed the exam.

5. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional certification for those who provide financial advice and services. CFPs are held to a higher standard of ethics and must adhere to the Financial Planning Standards Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

In order to become a Certified Financial Planner, you must meet certain educational requirements, pass an exam, have three years of full-time financial planning experience, complete continuing education courses every two years, and agree to abide by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics.

The process typically takes about two years from start to finish. The first step is to complete a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field such as accounting or economics. After that, you must complete an approved CFP program which includes coursework in areas such as investments, taxes, retirement planning, estate planning and insurance. Once you have completed the program, you can register for the CFP exam which consists of two parts: one on general financial planning topics and one on specific areas such as investments or insurance.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it but generally ranges from $400-$600. In addition to the cost of taking the exam, there are also fees associated with becoming certified including an application fee ($50-$100), background check fee ($50-$100) and annual renewal fees ($75-$150).

Overall, becoming a Certified Financial Planner is an involved process that requires dedication and commitment but can be very rewarding in terms of career opportunities and increased earning potential.

6. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) is a professional designation awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). It is designed to recognize and develop the skills of management accountants, who are essential to the success of organizations.

It takes approximately two years to obtain the CGMA designation. To qualify for this designation, applicants must have a minimum of five years' experience in accounting or finance, plus either a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Applicants must also pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, performance measurement, strategic planning, risk management, and ethical considerations.

The cost for obtaining the CGMA designation varies depending on location. The AICPA estimates that it costs approximately $1,500 to become a CGMA in the United States. This fee includes registration fees, exam fees, and study materials. In addition to these fees, some employers may require additional training or certification courses prior to allowing their employees to take the exam.

Overall, becoming a Chartered Global Management Accountant is an excellent way for those in accounting and finance positions to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to their profession.

7. Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA)

Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) is a professional designation awarded by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). The ATA credential is designed to recognize tax professionals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and experience in the field of taxation.

To become an ATA, candidates must have at least five years of full-time tax preparation or tax consulting experience, complete an online application and pass a comprehensive exam. Candidates must also meet continuing education requirements every three years to maintain their ATA status.

The ATA exam consists of two parts: a written portion that covers topics such as individual taxes, business taxes, ethics, and tax law; and an oral portion that tests the candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. The exam takes approximately eight hours to complete.

The cost for the ATA exam varies depending on the state in which you are taking it. Generally, the fee ranges from $150-$200. In addition to the exam fee, there may be additional costs associated with obtaining study materials or taking preparatory courses.

Once you have passed the exam and met all other requirements, you will receive your Accredited Tax Advisor certification from NATP. The certification is valid for three years and can be renewed every three years by completing continuing education requirements.

8. Internal Revenue Service Enrolled Agent Exam (EA Exam)

The Internal Revenue Service Enrolled Agent Exam (EA Exam) is a three-part exam administered by the IRS to test the knowledge and skills of individuals who wish to become enrolled agents. An enrolled agent is a tax professional authorized by the IRS to represent taxpayers in all matters before the IRS, including audits, collections, and appeals.

The EA Exam consists of three parts: Part 1 – Individual Taxation; Part 2 – Business Taxation; and Part 3 – Representation, Practices, and Procedures. Each part consists of multiple-choice questions that are designed to test the applicant’s knowledge of tax law, procedures, and regulations. The exam also includes simulations that require applicants to apply their knowledge in practical situations.

The EA Exam takes approximately 4 hours for each part. Applicants must pass all three parts within two years in order to become an enrolled agent.

In order to take the EA Exam, applicants must first register with Prometric Testing Centers or Pearson VUE Testing Centers and pay a testing fee of $124 per part ($372 total). Once registered, applicants can schedule their exams online or by phone.

Applicants should plan on spending several months studying for the EA Exam as it covers a wide range of topics related to taxation. It is recommended that applicants use study materials specifically designed for the EA Exam such as textbooks or practice tests in order to prepare adequately for this challenging exam.

9. National Tax Practice Institute Certification Program (NTPI CP)

The National Tax Practice Institute Certification Program (NTPI CP) is a comprehensive program designed to provide tax professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. This certification program is offered by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and requires a minimum of 60 hours of continuing education in taxation, ethics, and professional standards.

The NTPI CP consists of four courses: Tax Law, Professional Standards & Ethics, Representation & Procedure, and Research & Analysis. Each course must be completed within one year from the date of enrollment. The courses are available online or in-person at NATP conferences.

To obtain NTPI CP certification, applicants must successfully complete all four courses within one year from the date of enrollment and pass an online exam for each course. The cost for the entire program is $1,995 USD for members or $2,495 USD for non-members.

Once certified, professionals are required to maintain their certification by completing 30 hours of continuing education every three years in order to remain eligible for renewal.

10. Tax Preparer Competency Test (TPCT)

The Tax Preparer Competency Test (TPCT) is a comprehensive exam designed to assess the knowledge and skills of tax preparers. It is administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as individual income taxes, business income taxes, and other related tax topics. The TPCT is required for all individuals who wish to become an IRS-authorized e-file provider or a registered tax return preparer.

The TPCT takes approximately three hours to complete and is offered in English and Spanish. To take the test, applicants must register with the IRS and pay a fee of $116.50. Applicants must also provide proof of their identity, such as a driver’s license or passport, prior to taking the test.

Once an applicant passes the TPCT, they will be issued an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). This number allows them to legally file federal tax returns on behalf of their clients. The PTIN must be renewed annually by completing continuing education courses approved by the IRS.

11. American Society of Tax Problem Solvers Certification Program (ASTPS CP).

The American Society of Tax Problem Solvers Certification Program (ASTPS CP) is a professional certification program for tax professionals who specialize in resolving complex tax problems. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the federal and state tax systems and equips practitioners with the skills necessary to successfully resolve difficult tax issues.

The ASTPS CP consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the federal and state tax systems, as well as the tools necessary to effectively resolve complex tax issues. The course includes lectures, case studies, quizzes, and practice exams. Once the participant has completed the online course, they must pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive their certification.

The ASTPS CP takes approximately six months to complete. Participants must first register for the program by completing an application form and paying a registration fee of $395. After registering, participants will have access to the online course material which can be completed at their own pace within six months from registration date. Upon completion of the online course material, participants will be eligible to take the certification exam which is administered twice per year in May and November. The cost for taking the exam is $195.

Upon successful completion of both parts of the ASTPS CP—the online course material and passing the certification exam—participants will receive their official ASTPS CP certificate along with other benefits such as access to exclusive resources, discounts on products/services, recognition from peers/employers, etc.

Do You Really Need a Revenue Agent Certificate?

The answer to this question really depends on what your career goals are. If you want to work in the field of taxation, either as a public or private accountant, then yes, you will need a Revenue Agent Certificate (RAC). This certificate is offered by the Internal Revenue Service and is required for anyone who works as a tax auditor or collector. It is also important if you plan to represent clients before the IRS in any capacity.

In order to obtain your RAC, you must have a minimum of two years of experience working with taxes. You also need to pass an exam that covers topics such as federal income tax law and IRS procedures. Once you have passed the exam, you can apply for your certificate which will be valid for three years. After this time period has expired, you will need to renew it in order to continue working in the field.

Having a Revenue Agent Certificate can open up more job opportunities and provide higher salaries than those without it. It also shows potential employers that you are knowledgeable about taxes and have taken the time to learn about them thoroughly. So if your career goals include working with taxes in some capacity, it would be wise to get your RAC and stay current with any changes or updates in the field.

Related: Revenue Agent Resume Examples

FAQs About Revenue Agent Certifications

1. What qualifications are required to become a revenue agent?

Answer: To become a revenue agent, you must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field and pass the IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE).

2. How long does it take to get certified as a revenue agent?

Answer: It typically takes about two to three months to complete the certification process for revenue agents.

3. Is there an exam I need to pass in order to become a revenue agent?

Answer: Yes, you must pass the IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) in order to become a revenue agent.

4. How much does it cost to get certified as a revenue agent?

Answer: The cost of certification will vary depending on the program you choose and any additional materials you may need, but typically ranges from $300-$500 USD.

5. Are there continuing education requirements for revenue agents?

Answer: Yes, most certifying organizations require that you complete at least 20 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain your certification status.