The Australian Taxation Office’s Client-to-Agent Linking Process

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From 13 November, all businesses with an ABN, excluding sole traders, need to nominate a registered agent in Online services for business if:

  • you engage a new agent to represent you, or
  • you provide additional authorisation to your existing authorised agent (for example, authorising them to represent you for any additional accounts you may have).

You’ll need to use the updated agent details feature in Online services for business to authorise an agent before they can link to your accounts.

You don’t need to do anything if your existing agent arrangements remain the same.

Why has the ATO introduced client-to-agent linking?

Client-to-agent linking has been introduced for several reasons, primarily focusing on enhanced security.

Enhanced security

The introduction of client-to-agent linking brings a substantial improvement to the security of online tax services. In the past, there were concerns about the risk of fraudulent agents or hackers creating unauthorised accounts or submitting false returns on your behalf. This change ensures only trusted professionals have access to your financial data.

Safeguarding your privacy

Client-to-agent linking prioritises your privacy, ensuring you have control over who can access your financial information. You can have confidence that your sensitive financial data remains confidential and is accessible solely to authorised individuals. This added layer of protection ensures the security and privacy of your financial affairs.

Understanding the new process

Step 1 – Ensure you have access to Online Services each of your businesses

If you already have done this step then you can ignore step 1. You will know if you’ve done it if you can generally access each of your entities / businesses using Online Services for Businesses.

If you have not done this step, you will need to do the below:

  1. Setup your myGovID
    Ensure your identity reaches at least a ‘Strong’ strength level. (Note: If you can’t get to Strong, please contact ATO on 1300 287 539)
  2. Link your myGovID to your ABN
    To link your entities / businesses to your myGovID, you’ll need to use the Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) process. RAM is where you can manage your business authorisations and user access.
    Please note, you’ll need to be a principal authority for the entity /business to do this.
    In this process you can provide others with the authority to represent your entity / business.

Step 2 – Link your nominated Agent to your business

This step is what gives authority for your new accountant to access the business records. You will need to do this for each of your entities / businesses:

Agent Nomination Process

Step 3 – Notify your new Tax Agent

Once the above process has been done for each entity / business – let your Tax Agent know, they will then have a window of time (28 days) to process the nomination.

You can find more information and details directly from the ATO website here.

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