Prepared by the United States Tax Court
Admissions & Trial Practice Programs
for Non-attorney & Attorney Federally
Authorized Tax Practitioners at the
Tax Law Institute

Internship Defined

The Tax Law Institute Internship Program is open to high school seniors, college-age students and returning U.S. army veterans (with some restrictions), who have an interest in tax accounting and Federal tax law.

The initial goal of the Internship Program is to expose young persons and returning vets to the rewarding career opportunities that are available in the U.S. Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service as an "IRS Special Enrolled Agent". And secondly, to advertise the benefits of continuing one's education as an enrolled agent to advance to the professional designation, "United States Tax Court Practitioner" - a non-attorney, federally authorized tax practitioner (FATP) who is "Admitted to Practice, U.S. Tax Court".

Qualifications for the Internship Program are determined by the Internship Committee, composed of an IRS approved provider of education in Federal Tax Law and U.S. Tax Court Trial Practice, a former U.S. Tax Court special trial judge, CPA members of the U.S. Tax Court Bar, tax attorneys, and IRS special enrolled agents, and several law professors, including a former U.S. Treasury special agent who holds a Ph.D in Bank Secrecy Laws and money laundering - all members of the Teaching Faculty at the Tax Law Institute.

Admission Criteria

Prospective candidates are required to make known their interest in the program via transmission of an electronic Letter of Interest. If selected, individuals will then meet with the Internship Committee during an hour-long, electronic interview.

Successful interviewees will then be prompted to submit a Written Statement of their specific goals and objectives as defined during the electronic interview.

Selected individuals will then meet again and spend time in an hour-long, electronic discussion with the Internship Committee. The goal being to determine the fitness and aptitude of the prospective Intern to pass the IRS Special Enrollment Examination and U.S. Tax Court Non-attorney Examination. A decision is transmitted with 3 days thereafter.  

Professional Development
  • With an assigned FATP-Mentor

If approved, the individual enters a one-year training program to learn the fundamentals of tax accountancy (tax return preparation and audit representation) and the Federal tax laws (Internal Revenue Code aka IRC).

At the conclusion of the first year, successful interns move on to a cooperative education endeavor (work-study), during which time the intern will be paired with an FATP who will help prepare the intern to sit for all three (3) parts of the IRS Special Enrollment Examination aka SEE. The intern will also be engaged in tax preparation and audit representation work with a participating firm.

Success on all three parts of the SEE qualifies the newly-approved EA to begin a one-year bar review to prepare and sit for the U.S. Tax Court Non-attorney Examination. During this time the intern will continue their engagement in tax preparation and audit representation work with a participating firm.

The Non-attorney Exam is administered once, every other year in Washington DC. If the individual receives a "pass letter" from the Tax Court then they will be subjected to a background check by the FBI, after which the Tax Law Institute will "sponsor" (recommend) the successful bar applicant to the U.S. Tax Court Office of Admissions. If an applicant is deemed "to be of good character" by the FBI, then he/she is sworn-in as a "Member of the Bar, U.S. Tax Court" and issued a bar registration number.

Newly-admitted USTCPs then enter the "U.S. Tax Court Apprenticeship & Litigation Program", managed by the Tax Law Institute. When successfully completed, they begin their courtroom practice in the Fall Session of the U.S. Tax Court. Their practice privileges extend throughout the national jurisdiction, including U.S. territories or anyplace the U.S. Tax Court holds session. See "USTCP Defined"

Employment and Placement

The new admittee is deemed to hold credentials that certify him/her as "IRS Enrolled Agent aka EA" and "United States Tax Court Practitioner aka USTCP". Most newly-approved persons should opt to enter solo practice - often the most lucrative option. Average industry-standard for annual incomes, in 2019, for an IRS Enrolled Agent engaged in tax return preparation and audit representation is $50,000-$120,000, or more. Annual legal fees collected, for an EA who is also a United States Tax Court Practitioner, and engaged in small ("s-") case practice (administrative resolutions) and/or regular case practice (litigation), averages, $75,000-$150,000, or more. All figures are affected by locality, full- or part-time service, and practice concentrations and specializations.

The Judicial Merit Award recipients (top performers) will be considered first, for permanent placement as adjunct instructors at the Tax Law Institute and as support staff at US Tax Court But most graduates of the Internship Program should look to employment placement at top-tier law and accounting firms, engaged in Federal Tax Practice throughout the national jurisdiction. Many of these placements are high-compensation jobs, often starting in the $100,000 to $250,000 salary ranges.

Nevertheless, the EA who is also a USTCP is in very high demand as a tax litigation specialist as he/she knows both the accounting and law side of a tax case. Or, as an "expert witness" (can earn fees of $1500 up to $25,000 for written or oral testimony) for all types of Federal and State tax court cases, especially among law and accounting firms as well as local attorneys in solo practice.


The current cost for the 3-year Internship Program is $23,500 + fees, and includes all books and print materials. Payment plans are available.

The entire program is taught in electronic format, meaning that classes meet virtually, usually for approximately 2 - 3 hours, dial-in, conference-calling mode.

Interns have discounted-fee-access to certain live, related tax practice events, where access is authorized by the Tax Law Institute. But interns must cover the cost of hotel accommodations and meals, where applicable.


The Letter of Interest, and all other documents, should be sent to the following electronic address:

Sponsored by U.S. Tax Court