ATO changes that prevent unauthorised access to client accounts
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is responding to increased criminal efforts to impersonate legitimate taxpayers to lodge fraudulent tax returns or gain access to data that they can make money from.
Tax agents, BAS agents and payroll service providers are not immune to fraud and identity theft. To counter the increased risk, the ATO is adding an extra control into the process for how we link to a new client or add a new obligation for an existing client.
Phased roll out
Following a pilot with selected public and multinational businesses, the ATO will progressively expand the new process to more taxpayers from 13 December 2022. Your business will be notified by the ATO if it will be impacted.
The new step requires a business to complete an Agent nomination in Online services for business. Then OBT can link or change authorisations in the ATO’s online services as normal. There will be no impacts on client links that are already in place.
Strengthening front-end controls is designed to:
- help protect OBT and our clients
- ensure that only an authorised agent or payroll service provider can link to our clients’ accounts and access their tax and super affairs
- increase confidence around the identity of a new client
- bring tax office processes into line with best practice and community expectations.
Visit ato.gov.au/clientagentlinking for more information about client-to-agent linking in online services.