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New requirements for Company Directors

We are writing to you to let you know about new legislation which came into effect on 1 November 2021 that requires all directors of Australian companies to have a Director Identification Number (DIN).

You will need to apply for a DIN if you are a company director. This includes if you are director of your SMSF corporate trustee or family trust.

You will also need to apply for a DIN if you are acting in the capacity of an alternate director, even if you are appointed for a specified period or a temporary basis.

 

What is a DIN?

A DIN is a unique 15-digit identifier that a director will apply for once. Once issued, your DIN will remain with you for life regardless of whether you stop being a director, change companies, change your name or move overseas.

A director can only have one DIN that they must use for all companies.

The purpose of introducing DINs is to prevent the use of fictitious director identities, assist regulators trace directors' relationships with companies and better identify directors involved in unlawful activity.


When do I need to apply for a DIN?

When you must apply for a DIN depends on the date you became a director.

The table below summarises the key dates of when you need to apply for a DIN:

Date you were appointed a director

Date you must apply for a DIN

On or before 31 October 2021

By 30 November 2022

Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022

Within 28 days of appointment

From 5 April 2022

Before appointment

If the company intends to appoint a new director, it will be important to ensure that they are aware of the requirements and time frames to establish their director ID if they do not already have one.

 

How do I apply for a DIN?

Unfortunately, we are unable to apply for a DIN on your behalf. You must apply for your own DIN to verify your identity. We can however assist you by advising you of the steps and timelines involved.

Firstly you will need to visit the ABRS website (www.abrs.gov.au).

Click on "Director Identification Number" near the top of the homepage:

or

scroll down to "Apply for your director ID"


Follow the 3-step process set out on the website, being:

 

Step 1 – Set-up a myGovID (skip to Step 2 if you already have a myGovID set to standard or strong identity strength)

If you have not already set up myGovID, you will need to download the app (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play) onto your smart phone or smart device and create an account.

(NOTE – myGovID is different from myGov. myGovID lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.)

You will need a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength using two Australian identity documents, such as:

  • Driver's licence or learner's permit
  • Passport (no more than three years expired)
  • Birth certificate
  • Visa (if you are using foreign passport)
  • Citizenship certificate
  • ImmiCard
  • Medicare card (you need to verify one if the above documents before you'll have the to option to verify your Medicare card)

See www.mygovid.gov.au/verifying-your-identity for further details.

 

Step 2 – Gather the documents required for identification

You will need to have some information the ATO knows about you when you apply for your DIN. NOTE - the documents must be your personal documents, not the company's.

You will need to complete a 'proof of ATO record ownership' (PORO) by providing:

  • Your tax file number (TFN)
  • Your residential address as held by the ATO
  • Information from two documents to verify your identity, such as:
    • Notice of assessment (NOA) – date of issue and the reference number
    • Dividend statement investment reference number
    • The gross amount from your PAYG payment summary
    • Superannuation details including your super fund's ABN and your member account number
    • Your bank account details if you have received an income tax refund (on your myGov ATO account, see 'my profile/financial institution details')

 

Step 3 – Complete your application

Once you have a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength, and information to verify your identity, you can log in and apply for your DIN:


Your myGovID details and ATO details will be prefilled and all you need to do is enter your place of birth, postal address, mobile number, any former names and complete the declaration.

The application process should take less than 5 minutes and once complete, you will instantly receive your DIN. This information should be provided to your company secretary or office holder.

 ?

How do I apply for a DIN if I cannot get a myGovID?

If you can't get a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength, you can apply by phone or with a paper form.

You can apply by phone if you have:

  • An Australian TFN
  • The information needed to verify your identity (as listed above)

The phone number is 13 62 50 and is available between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday for directors in Australia. For directors calling from overseas, the number is +61 2 6216 3440.

If you can't apply online or over the phone, you can apply using a downloadable form – see www.abrs.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/Application_for_a_director_identification_number.pdf  (NAT 75329). This is a slower process and you will also need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity. Authorised certifiers include a barrister, solicitor and medical practitioner. Please see www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number/verify-your-identity for further details and a full list of authorized certifiers. Please note, the ABRS is unable to accept documents certified by registered tax and ASIC agents.

 

Don't get caught out

All directors should apply for their DIN before the relevant deadline. Failure to comply with the new DIN requirements or providing false or misleading information may result in both civil and criminal penalties.

Please also take care when applying for your DIN. Only apply via the www.abrs.gov.au website as it is a secure site that will keep your information safe.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance with applying for your DIN or understanding your DIN obligations.


Kind regards,

The Team at Avonlea Advisory