ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Agent nomination process

How to authorise an agent in Online services for business as part of the agent nomination process.

Last updated 10 March 2024

About the agent nomination process

The agent nomination process is a new requirement to help ensure only your authorised tax agent, BAS agent or payroll service provider can access your accounts and act on your behalf for your tax and super affairs.

This process only applies when you change an agent or change the authorisations you give your existing agent.

How to know if this process applies to you

Effective from 13 November 2023, the agent nomination process will apply to all types of entities with an ABN excluding sole traders. This includes entity types such as:

  • companies including strata title bodies
  • partnerships
  • trusts
  • not-for-profits
  • joint ventures
  • cooperatives
  • self-managed super funds (SMSFs)
  • APRA-regulated superannuation funds.

We've already rolled out the agent nomination process to the following:

  • public and multinational businesses who are part of the Top 100 and Top 1,000 – effective from 19 June 2022
  • most public and multinational businesses – effective from 13 December 2022
  • businesses in our Top 500 privately-owned wealthy groups, where that group has a significant level of ownership – effective from 13 December 2022
  • government entities – effective from 24 February 2023.

The new requirement does not currently apply to individual taxpayers or sole traders.

Why we're making this change

The security of your tax and super information is very important to us. The security and fraud environment is shifting and unfortunately, we’re seeing increasing attempts to commit identity theft and fraud. That's why we're changing the process for how agents access your information.

While we recognise this change may require more time and effort, it’s important that we work together to strengthen the security of our online services to help protect your information.

Registered agents have digital access to their clients' tax information as well as functionality that allows them to lodge returns and forms through our online services. To get this access, they must first connect to you as their client in our online services.

We’re introducing a step where we’ll ask you to securely nominate your registered agent when you change:

  • to a new registered agent
  • the authorisations you give your existing registered agent.

Only when you’ve done this will your registered agent be able to connect to you as their client and access your information.

Importantly, you can have confidence that only your nominated agent will:

  • have access to your information
  • perform tasks on your behalf, such as lodging your tax return.

By completing the agent nomination process through online services:

  • your registered agent can be confident it’s truly you
  • we can be confident that the actions your registered agent take are truly on your behalf.

We're consulting with businesses, agents and industry representatives to ensure we take taxpayer and agent needs into account as we put this process in place.

When to complete the nomination process

You only need to nominate an agent if the change applies to you and you're either:

  • engaging a new registered tax or BAS agent, or payroll service provider to represent you
  • changing the authorisation of an existing agent (for example, they start representing you for a new obligation, such as income tax or a new entity in your group).

If you're already represented by a registered agent and you don't make changes, you don't need to do anything.

What you need to do

You need to nominate your registered agent in Online services for business before they can access your account and act on your behalf.

To nominate your agent, follow these client-to-agent linking steps. They will lead you through the nomination process and help you set up Online services for business if you have not done so already.

If you need support, you can contact us on 13 28 66 or your registered agent. Your registered agent can't do the agent nomination process on your behalf in online services. However, they can help you understand what to do.

Notifying your agent

Once you've submitted your nomination, notify your nominated agent that they're authorised to add your business or organisation as a client or add additional tax accounts.

The agent has 28 calendar days to add you as a client before the nomination expires.

The agent you've authorised will not receive an automated system notification about the nomination, so it's important you advise them when it's been submitted.

Extending a nomination

If the agent you've nominated needs more time to add you as a client, you can use the Extend feature. This will add another 28 days to your nomination from the day you extend.

The Extend feature will become available the day after submitting a nomination. It'll remain available until the original nomination expires after 28 calendar days.

To extend a nomination, follow the Extend an agent nomination steps.

If a nomination has expired, you won't be able to extend it. You'll need to resubmit a new nomination.

Further information

If you experience any errors while completing the agent nomination process, you can contact us on 13 28 66 for help.

Before we can discuss your details or update your records, you must establish your identity. In addition, you should have your agent's registered agent number and the practice name ready so that we can search for their details.

You can access more information about your digital identity and linking your business through myGovIDExternal LinkExternal Link and Relationship Authorisation manager External LinkExternal Link.

For more information, see what you can do in Online services for business.

If you're a registered agent, information tailored to your needs is available in Client-to-agent linking in online services.