Servicing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland & The Hunter Valley

ATO Client to Agent Linking

icon of balanced beans

Streamline ATO Agent - Client Linking

In response to the growing threat of fraud, the ATO is implementing stronger measures to enhance the security of information access and client representation. Commencing November 13, 2023 all entities with an Australian Business Number (ABN) have to nominate a new Tax or BAS Agent in ATO Online Services for Business.


In 2022, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) introduced a trial system to link business owners and registered agents. The system has now been rolled out to most businesses and started on 13 November 2023. Individuals and sole traders are exempt, but all other businesses must engage a registered agent via the new process.

Previously, agents could connect an individual or business to their ATO registered agent online services. The new system requires business owners to nominate their agent.

Why is the ATO increasing security measures?

The ATO have cited the escalating sophistication of unauthorised attempts to breach taxpayer data and refund fraud as the reason for this change. The client-to-agent linking update will ensure that only tax agents who have received client authorisation will have digital access to their accounts. 

This will tighten security, meaning that fraudulent agents, business owners or hackers will have a harder time creating sham accounts or returns with the extra controls linking agents to clients.

Reduction in identity theft

Criminals may pretend to be taxpayers engaging an accountant for the purposes of fraudulent lodgments in the hope of getting a refund; or acountants looking to gain access to sensitive client information. ‍The deployment of client-to-agent linking means this risk is significantly reduced.

Efficiency of processes

Dealing with security breaches can be a stressful, expensive, time-consuming process. Strengthening security protocols will not only give peace of mind to both accountants and business owners, but will signifcantly reduce the expenditure of time and financial resources allocated to handling such breaches. 

Client-Agent Linking Process

Business Owner Steps

  • The business owner must first set up their digital identity with myGovID
  • The owner must then link their myGovID to their ABN using the Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM)
  • The owner can authorise others to act on their behalf as an authorised representative if necessary
  • Log in to ATO online services for business

  • Select Add under the Agent Nominations feature. Please note if you are unable to see the Add function, you will need to contact the ATO to get assistance to nominate an agent here.
  • From the Nominate Agent Screen, select Search for Agent. You will need to enter the registered agent using their registration number or by entering their exact name as per their myGovID.

  • Complete the Declaration and submit the nomination.
  • Once completed, you will be able to see the nominated agent under the Agent details section. You can add more than one agent.
  • Alert Balanced Beans Accountants and Bookkeepers (or your nominated agent) that you have nominated them. The ATO does not notify the agent of the nomination, so it is up to you to do so. The agent only has seven days to accept the nomination, so prompt notification is essential. If the agent nominated needs more time to add you as a client, you can use the Extend feature which will become available on the next calendar day after submitting a nomination. It will remain available for 7 days, then it will expire.

Need help?


If you run into any issues along the way, reach out to our friendly team of Hunter Valley bookkeepers and accountants or your agent.
Alternatively contact the ATO to speak to a customer service representative. They will be able to assist you with nominating an agent.

Visit the following ATO links for more information:

Only your authorised tax agent, BAS agent or payroll service provider will be able to access your ATO information and act on your behalf.

For more information on these changes or any other business accountancy or tax matter, contact us online or on (02) 4046 1000.