Information about administering client records, including notification of a legal practitioner, proof-of-identity (POI) requirements and links to relevant law administration practice statements.
Before you contact us on behalf of a client, you must be:
- authorised to represent them in relation to their tax affairs, in whole or in part
- able to meet POI requirements.
Once you are recorded as your client's authorised legal practitioner, you must be able to provide the following POI information about your client when you phone us:
- one of the following account identifiers
- tax file number (TFN)
- Australian business number (ABN)
- account name
- one item of proof from an ATO generated notice or lodged return relating to the taxpayer.
Before you deal with us on behalf of an individual or entity, either:
- your client needs to advise us that you are representing them
- you must provide written advice of your appointment on your firm's letterhead.
Any nomination will continue indefinitely until we are notified it no longer applies.
Nominating a legal practitioner does not cancel any previous nomination.
Notification by your client
The quickest way for your client to nominate you as their legal practitioner is by using our online services. To update the authorised contact for:
- individuals – the individual will need to sign in to their myGov account linked to the ATO (see Update your authorised contacts in ATO online)
- non-individuals – use Online services for business or Australian Business Register (see Update your details).
If your client doesn’t have access to our online services, they can either:
- phone us on
- 13 28 61 (for individuals)
- 13 28 66 (for non-individuals)
- complete one of the following forms
- Nomination of a legal representative to act on behalf of an individual – paper form (PDF, 208KB)This link will download a file NAT11525
- Nomination of a legal representative to act on behalf of a non-individual – paper form (PDF, 216KB)This link will download a file NAT15898.
Notification by you
If your client cannot notify us of your appointment, you can provide written proof of your appointment on your firm's letterhead.
Copy and paste the information from the example below to your firm's letterhead. Complete the relevant details and send to us via Secure Mail in Online services for business using the:
- topic 'View more topics'
- subject 'General questions/problems/help'
- additional subject 'Notification of legal representative'.
Example – Template to notify appointment of legal practitioner
The person identified below has appointed <select either
- 'me to represent them as a legal practitioner'
- 'me and the additional legal practitioners identified in this letter to represent them'>.
Date of birth: <insert for individuals only>
TFN or ABN: <insert>
Phone number: <insert>
Legal practitioner details
<If there's more than one legal practitioner, include details for each person. Each practitioner must be enrolled to practice in the relevant state, territory or federal court.>
Name: <This must be the name of an individual legal practitioner, enrolled to practice>
Legal practice name: <insert>
Phone number: <insert>
This notification is for <select either 'me, as a legal practitioner' or 'the legal practitioners identified above'> to represent the client in relation to the selected matters below <select as appropriate>:
- all of their tax matters <include only this option if you are representing all their tax matters>
- the following tax matters <include each relevant one if you are representing only some of their tax matters
- income tax
- goods and services tax (GST)
- fringe benefits tax
- pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
- pay as you go (PAYG) instalments>
- another specific matter <name matter, for example, 'GST objection'>
This notification will endure until the client gives notice to the ATO that the client has terminated <select either 'my appointment as a legal practitioner' or 'the appointment of the legal practitioners identified above'> to represent them.
I have informed the client that, as <select either 'a legal practitioner' or 'legal practitioners'> nominated to represent them, the ATO will provide <select either 'me' or 'us'> with information concerning their affairs for the purposes indicated above until such time as the client notifies the ATO that <select either 'I' or 'we'> no longer represent them. A copy of this letter has been provided to the client.
<Your name and signature>
<Date>End of example
An urgent notification of your appointment may be where your client has received a summons to appear in court and you have been appointed late in the process.
The details will be updated by close of business the next business day. Any other actions will be subject to our normal service standards.
When sending a request by fax:
- write 'Urgent LR' in the subject line
- fax it to 1300 130 917.
You or your client can make a Freedom of Information request for an individual or a business.
Under the Privacy Act 1988, you must handle your client's personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles, including:
- protecting an individual against unauthorised disclosures of personally identifiable information
- maintaining physical and electronic copies and internal practices and procedures to ensure personal information is safeguarded.
Find out more about your privacy obligations, as well as privacy resources and guides, by visiting the Office of the Australian Information CommissionerExternal Link.
For details about the information we collect see Privacy notice – Nomination of a legal representative to act on behalf of an individual or Privacy notice – Nomination of a legal representative to act on behalf of an entity.
- Subpoenas and service on the ATO
- Tax Practitioners Board – Who needs to register as a tax agent?External Link
- Risk assessment
- Online services for business to request copies of documents, including tax returns and notices of assessment