October 20, 2023

Client-to-agent linking: Set-up instructions and a discussion on the ATO’s security crack-down

Kyle Bonerath
Accountant & Registered Tax Agent

Client-to-agent linking: Set-up instructions and a discussion on the ATO’s security crack-down 

In response to the growing threat of increasingly sophisticated fraudulent activities, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is implementing robust measures to enhance the security of information access and representation on your behalf.

We discuss why the ATO is increasing security measures and step you through the client-to-agent linking process. 

Why is the ATO increasing security measures?

The ATO have cited the escalating sophistication of unauthorised attempts to breach taxpayer data and perpetrate refund fraud as the catalyst for this change. According to the ATO, this update guarantees that only tax agents who have received explicit client authorisation will have digital access to their accounts. The deployment of client-to-agent linking is an ongoing commitment to fortify the system's resilience, shielding client information from the grasp of criminals intent on accessing ATO-held data.

Reduction in identity theft

In their pursuit of defrauding the system, criminals may pretend to be:

  • Taxpayers engaging an accountant for the purposes of fraudulent lodgments in the hope of getting a refund.
  • Accountants 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 is a stressful, expensive, time-consuming process. By fortifying security protocols, both accountants and business owners can attain a heightened level of peace of mind. This, in turn, not only minimises the risk of security issues but also results in a significant reduction in both the time and financial resources allocated to handling such breaches. Consequently, business owners can shift their undivided attention to the seamless operation of their business.

How to nominate a tax agent

Access Online Services for Business

Log in to Online Services for Business. Please note, if you have not previously set up Online Services for Business, this will need to be done first. 

Nominate your authorised tax agent.

Once you are on the Online Services for Business home page:

  1. Select Profile, then Agent details.
  1. 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. (
  2. From the Nominate Agent screen, select Search for Agent. You will now need to enter the registered agent number (RAN) or the name of the accounting firm- Bonerath & Co. PTY LTD. RAN: 25746972
  3. If multiple results are displayed, select the correct agent. Then check that the agent’s details are correct. 
  4. Complete the Declaration and submit the nomination. 
  5. Once completed, you will be able to see the agent’s details under the Agent details section (pictured above). 

Once submitted, please contact us (or any other agent you’ve nominated) as soon as possible to let us know we have been nominated. 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 you run into any issues along the way, please contact the ATO to speak to a customer service representative. They will be able to assist you with nominating an agent.

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