Director Identification Numbers
Updated: Oct 18
ASF TAKEAWAYS: Directors need to ensure that they have applied for, and received Director Identification Numbers before 30 November 2022 in order to be able to act in said capacity.
As part of the drive to reduce phoenixing activities, being able to force compliance with director penalty notices and prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities, the Australian Federal Government introduced the concept of Director Identification Numbers (DIN). A DIN is a unique identifier and would be linked to a director forever. Legislation mandating this was passed in June 2020, and the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) has now announced the timelines for directors to implement this.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
If you became a director on or before 31 October 2021, you must apply by 30 November 2022.
If you become a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you must apply within 28 days of appointment.
From 5 April 2022, you will need to apply for a DIN before registering a company.
The directors must apply for their Director ID Number themselves.
HOW TO APPLY
Directors will be required to apply for the DIN themselves as the verification process is undertaken via the use of the MyGovID protocols. Only directors are required to apply for a Director Identification Number - company secretaries are exempt from this law. The number will be used to identify you as a director for all of your companies.
It is also important to note that if your DIN has not been used for a period of 12 months, the number will be changed to an inactive status and you will need to request for it to be reinstated.
Setup My GovID
To apply for a Director ID Number, you will need to firstly setup a My GovID. If you already have My GovID, you do not need to take any action until November 2021.
If you do not, we would recommend that current company directors commence setting up their My GovID profiles (instructions can be found at https://www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up).
To apply for a DIN, you will need the required documentation to verify your identity:
Your tax file number (TFN)
Your residential address as held by the ATO
Information from two documents listed below to verify your identity.
Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:
Bank account details
An ATO notice of assessment
Super account details
A dividend statement
A Centrelink payment summary
PAYG payment summary.
You will then be able to login into the ABRS from November 2021 and complete a form to apply for a DIN.
An online application can be completed after November 2021 to apply for a DIN (https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number)
Options for paper and telephone lodgements are also available, but would take significantly more time for the DIN to be issued.
For lodging via paper, in addition to the information requested on the form, you will need to provide certified copies of one primary and one secondary identity document. As always, do not send original documents as these may not be returned to you.
To apply by phone from November 2021, you will need:
An individual Australian tax file number (TFN). Providing your TFN is optional but it speeds up the process
Your residential address as held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Answers to two questions based on details the ATO knows about you
Two Australian identity documents – one primary and one secondary.
WHAT IF I DON'T APPLY
Directors may be issued infringement notices and there may be civil or criminal penalties if you don't apply for a Director Identification Number during the required time-frame.
Reach out to the team at ASF if you need any further assistance in relation to this matter.