The Australian Government has introduced a new Company Director Identification regime to prevent the use of false and fraudulent director identities and to reduce unlawful schemes, such as phoenix activity.
The new Directors Identification Number (DIN) legislation is now in effect and all Australian company directors must now apply and be issued with a DIN or suffer the penalties.
As a result, depending on when appointed, all company directors must have a Director Identification Number (DIN) by the relevant due dates below.
What is a DIN and how does it work?
The DIN is a unique identifier number to be issued to each person who is a director or the equivalent role of some incorporated associations. Like a TFN, a person who receives a DIN will keep it forever even if they change companies, stop being a director, change their name or move interstate or overseas.
Each person only needs to apply for a DIN once.
You will still require a DIN even if your company:
Acts only as the trustee of an SMSF
Is not actively trading
When you must apply for a DIN depends on the date of your appointment as a director of an Australian company:
Before October 31st 2021 - you must apply between 1/11/2021 - 30/11/2022
Between November 1st 2021 and April 4 2022 - you must apply within 28 days of being appointed as a director
After April 5 2022 - you must have a DIN before you can incorporate a new company
*Directors who fail to apply within the requisite period may be the subject of an infringement notice, civil or criminal penalties, and may of course be removed from the ASIC register.
How to apply
The process of applying for both a MyGovID and a DIN cannot be completed by your tax agent, BAS agent or anyone else on your behalf. You must do this application yourself.
Step 1: Applying for a MyGovID
A MyGovID is DIFFERENT to a MyGov account. It is an identity verification process used by the Government to allow access to certain online services - think of it like the common two factor authentication processes used by many banking institutions and other websites where you receive a code delivered by SMS, e-mail or via another electronic device to validate your identity.
You will need the following information to verify your identity when you apply:
• Australian full birth certificate (extracts and commemorative certificates are not acceptable)
• Australian passport (including passports that have expired in the past two years)
• Australian citizenship certificate or extract from a Register of Citizenship by Descent
• Visa (if you are using a foreign passport but you are still in Australia).
• Medicare card
• Australian driver's licence or learner's permit. This must show your photo and signature, and the address on the card must match your details on the form.
Two or more of the following
• Your tax file number;
• Your residential address as held by the ATO;
• Information from two documents to verify your identity. Examples of two documents which can be used include:
• Bank account details
• An ATO notice of assessment
• Super account details
• A dividend statement
• A Centrelink payment summary
• PAYG payment summary.
Step 2: Applying for a DIN
The easiest and fastest way to obtain your DIN is online:
What else should you do?
Companies must ensure that their current directors obtain a DIN within the required time as penalties may otherwise arise and if a director is removed from the ASIC roll, this could have consequences for the company's internal governance.
Companies will need to amend their procedures to collect and verify a director's DIN before he or she is appointed. Forms and precedents should be amended to provide for declaration of the DIN where applicable.
Directors applying for multiple DINs or misrepresenting their DIN could be liable for up to 12 months' imprisonment. Any other person involved in such an offence can be liable for a civil penalty fine as an accessory.
Step 3: Recording your DIN
You should keep your DIN in a safe and secure place, in the same way you would keep your TFN. You should not share your DIN with anyone other than your registered tax agent or ASIC agent.
Please also advise us of your DIN so we can keep this on file. You can upload it through your secure MYOB document portal, or request a portal if you don't have one already.
Help! I'm really stuck...
Although we can't manage these applications on your behalf, we can provide the following help & guidance:
2. Problems setting up MyGovID. Contact MyGovID for help.
3. Problems setting up your DirectorID. Contact the ABRS for help with DirectorID's.
4. Technical support using devices and websites. Book an appointment to see us.
If you are unable to complete the process on your own, you can bring your device and supporting documents in to us and we can supervise you while you complete the process.