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ATO Access Manager & RAM Explained

Understanding RAM, Access Manager & the difference between Online Services for Agents & Online Services for Business

There is some confusion about RAM and Access Manager in relation to the Online Service for Agent and Online Services for Business (OSFB). In this article, ICB explains how to Access RAM, and what the difference is between RAM and Access Manager.

Access Manager (AM) is connected with Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). This means when you authorise a person to act for a business using RAM, you can set their permissions in Access Manager at the same time.

Online Services for Agents (OSFA)

This is the BAS Agents access to the ATO and as an Agent it provides access to a Business on behalf of an Authorised Client. To Access OSFA you must have a personal myGovID established and then the system will allow connection to a BAS Agent’s team through Access Manager and Relationship Authorisation Manager.

By using OSFA a BAS Agent can give access to their team and add clients to their client list.

Online Services for Business (OSFB)

Online services for business is made with business, for business. It has been co-designed with industry and makes it easier for business to interact with the ATO online to manage tax and super obligations. It offers a range of features such as:

  • View, prepare, lodge and revise activity statements.
  • View, prepare, lodge, and revise taxable payments annual report.
  • Create payment plans.
  • Switch between your businesses with a single log in.
  • View statements of account and find payment reference number (PRN).
  • Manage your accounts and update your tax registration details (for example, add or cancel a role).
  • View your Single Touch Payroll reports
  • Register for goods and services tax (GST) and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding.
  • Access secure mail subjects.
  • Access the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.
  • View and print tax returns and income tax history (if you are a sole trader, continue to use ATO Online).

Online services for business allows businesses to access a range of information about their business accounts from the home page, including accounts that require action or that have overdue amounts.

You must be the principal authority (business owner or person responsible for the business) to link your business’s ABN to your myGovID.

Key Points

  • Access Manager is used to manage access and permissions for ATO online services, including Online services for Agents, Online services for Business and Australian Business Register (ABR). It also allows you to manage which ATO online services and functions others can access on behalf of your business. For example, restricting employee access to Online services for business and only allowing them to prepare and lodge activity statements.
  • Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) is an authorisation service that allows you to act on behalf of a business online when linked with your myGovID (you’ll use your myGovID to log into RAM).
  • myGovID is an app that you download that lets you prove who you are when logging into government online services (It’s different to a myGov account, which lets you, as an individual, link to government online services from the one place.).

Note: myGovID is different to myGov

Access Manager

With Access Manager a BAS Agent can control and manage the relationships between businesses, registered Tax and BAS Agents (registered agents) and digital service providers and also the permissions of staff using ATO online services. To set permissions in Access Manager through RAM you need to be the principal authority or authorisation administrator.

Functions include:

  • Manage permissions (for businesses) – manage your employee’s access to your business tax records.
  • Manage permissions for Tax and BAS agents – manage your employee’s access to your clients’ tax records.
  • Business appointments – appoint another business to act on behalf of your business. The appointed business can manage their employee’s access to businesses they are acting on behalf of.
  • Restricted clients – Tax agents and BAS Agents can use this function to restrict their employee’s access to particular clients.
  • My hosted SBR software services – enables businesses and registered agents to notify us of their hosted Standard Business Reporting (SBR) software service providers, they use for transactions to and from the ATO, using their hosted software (cloud) environments.

You will need a myGovID and be the principal authority or authorisation administrator in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) to use Access Manager.

View the ATO’s short digital education series instructional videos to help you optimise your use of Online Services for Agents. There are twelve videos ranging from how to update communication preferences to how to add or remove a client

What is RAM

Relationship authorisation manager (or RAM) is an authorisation service. Businesses can link their Australian business number (ABN) to their myGovID using RAM and manage relationships and authorisations across government online services.

This means that RAM lets individuals manage who can access online services on behalf of your business.

Together, myGovID and RAM give individuals access to government online services allowing you to continue to manage your business’ tax and super affairs, grants, and payroll… to name a few.

Who Can Use RAM?

Only an authorised individual can use RAM to set up themselves and any other individuals to access Government Online Services (and potentially other programs) for any business. An Authorised Individual is a person who is listed as an Associate on the ABR.

When establishing the connection of a person to an entity through RAM, you also can establish the Access Manager permissions. RAM is connected to Access Manager. This means when you authorise a person to act for a business using RAM, you can set their permissions for ATO online services in Access Manager at the same time

Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) allows BAS Agents to set up and manage who can access ATO online services for a business.

To set permissions in Access Manager through RAM you need to be the principal authority or authorisation administrator.

Online Services for Agents – More Information

The primary benefit of OSfA is client communication. An authorised BAS Agent can set a client’s communication preferences to reflect their circumstances and their engagement with the ATO. It also enables a BAS Agent to view in real time what digital communications the ATO are sending on their clients’ behalf.

BAS Agents should only set communication preferences for communication types a Business client has authorised. Before a BAS Agent can set up or update a Business clients communication preferences, they must ensure you, as the client, has given clear and written authorisation. See ATO – Online services for business is here