Understanding the New ATO Client to Agent Linking Nomination Process

Starting from November 13th, 2023, a significant change is coming into effect for businesses in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is introducing a new client-to-agent linking nomination process. 

This change affects all businesses holding an Australian Business Number (ABN), excluding sole traders, when:

  • appointing or replacing a Tax or BAS agent.
  • adjusting authorisations for an existing agent, or 
  • working with a payroll service provider.

Why the Change?

The main reason for this new process is to enhance security and protect businesses from fraud and identity theft. By ensuring that only authorised tax agents, BAS agents, or payroll service providers can access your information and act on your behalf, the ATO aims to safeguard your tax and super affairs more effectively.

As your registered tax agent, we can’t complete the agent nomination process for you - only you can do that. However, we have provided step-by-step instructions in this article to guide you through the process.

Step-by-Step Guide for Client-to-Agent Linking

Step 1: Register for myGovID

Before anything else, businesses need to set up a Digital Identity through myGovID and link it to their business ABN. 

We have provided detailed instructions in our blog article How to set up myGovID and RAM

Step 2: Set up Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) 

After setting up myGovID, you will need to link it to your Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). RAM is what enables users to manage authorisations and relationships for business, BAS, and agent services. 

We have provided detailed instructions in our blog article How to set up myGovID and RAM

Step 3: Log in to ATO’s Online Services

Use your myGovID to log in to Online services for Business here so that you can manage Client-to-Agent linking.

Step 4: Nominate your authorised agent in Online Services for business

Once you have logged into ATO Online Services for Business you can use the Agent Nomination feature. You will need to provide your chosen agent's registered agent number (RAN) and practice name.

  1. At the Agent nominations feature, select Add.
  2. On the Nominate agent screen, go to Search for agent.
  3. Type your agent’s (or payroll service provider’s) RAN or practice name and select Search (Platinum Accounting & Taxation Pty Ltd RAN is 28 938 002).
  4. Select the agent you want to nominate (if multiple results are returned, select the correct agent).
  5. Check that the agent’s details are correct.
  6. Complete the Declaration.
  7. Select Submit. Enter your agent’s registered agent number (RAN) or practice name for this step. Confirm the authorisation request.
  8. Advise the nominated Agent that you have completed the nomination process at the ATO.

Step 5: Notify your agent

It’s important to note that your agent will not receive an automatic notification. You, as the business owner, must inform your agent, who then has 28 days to action the nomination before it expires.

As a tax agent, Platinum Accounting & Taxation, upon receiving the business client’s nomination request, will log into our ATO Online Services for agents portal, review the request and accept it.

Step 6: Confirmation and completion

Once your nominated agent accepts your nomination, the linking process is complete.

Further Information

This new client-to-agent linking process is a significant step towards enhancing the security of tax and superannuation affairs in Australia. Businesses are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these changes and contact their agents for more information.

For detailed instructions, you can refer to the ATO's official client-agent linking steps guide