We’ve outline the key information below, and provided steps you need to take now in order to meet your obligations as a company director.
If you have any questions regarding your DIN, the application process, or your obligations as a director more broadly, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
What is a Director Identification Number (DIN)
A Director Identification Number (DIN) is a unique identifier number to be issued to each person who is a director or acting alternate director of a company or the equivalent role (such as a management committee member) of some incorporated associations.
Why are DINs being introduced?
The purpose of the DIN program is primarily to deter and penalise illegal phoenixing of companies. However, the DIN program will have a much wider impact as it will require all directors to confirm their identity and be issued with a DIN. As such, it is important that current directors, and those contemplating holding director positions, understand these new obligations as there are both criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance.
Who has to apply for a DIN?
The DIN requirements apply to appointed directors and acting directors of Australian companies and registered foreign companies under the Corporations Act 2001.
An individual can only have one DIN, however, once issued, the DIN will apply to the individual permanently (even if they cease to be a director).
When will DINs be required?
When a director needs to apply depends on when they became or becomes a director:
Existing directors appointed before 31 October 2021: Existing company directors have a 13 month transition period to identify themselves and apply. The transitional period ends on 30 November 2022.
New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 & 4 April 2022: New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 & 4 April 2022 have up to 28 days after their appointment to verify themselves and apply for their Director ID.
New directors appointed after 5 April 2022: Directors appointed after 5 April 2022 need to verify themselves and apply for a Director ID before they are appointed as a director.
Existing CATSI Act directors appointed before 31 October 2022: Directors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations registered under CATSI Act and appointed before 31 October 2022 will have until 30 November 2023 to apply for their Director ID.
Intending directors: A person who intends to become a director within 12 months may apply for a Director ID. If the Director ID is not linked to a company within 12 months, the Director ID will be cancelled, and the Director will need to apply to reactivate it.
How do you apply for a Director Identification Number?
The fastest way to apply for a Director Identification Number is online through the myGovID mobile application and the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) website, however you can also apply over the phone and by paper if you need to.
Note that foregin directors will need to complete a paper application for a Director Identification Number.
Applying for your DIN online (fastest & preferred)
Step 1: Set up your myGovID if you do not already have one.
You will need your smart phone, a unique email address, and at least 2 identification documents: driver’s licence or learner’s permit, passport (not more than three years expired), birth certificate, visa (using your foreign passport), citizenship certificate, ImmiCard, Medicare card.
NOTE: myGovID is different from myGov
myGovID is an app. You download the myGovID app to your smart device. It lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.
myGov is an account. Your myGov account lets you link to and access online services provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Centrelink, Medicare and more.
Step 2 – Gather your documents
You will need to have some information the ATO knows about you when you apply for your director ID:
- your tax file number (TFN)
- your residential address as held by the ATO
- information from two documents 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.
Step 3 – Complete your application online
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 director ID. The application process should take less than 5 minutes.
If you can’t get a myGovID
If you can’t get a myGovID with a Standard or Strong identity strength, the best way to apply for a director ID will depend on your situation.
Apply by phone
You can apply by phone if you have:
- an Australian tax file number (TFN)
- the information you need to verify your identity.
When you have the information you need to apply, contact the ABRS.
Apply with a paper form
If you can’t apply online or over the phone, you can apply using a downloadable form – Application for a director identification number (NAT75329, PDF, 306KB). This is a slower process and you will also need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity.
Keep a record of your Director Identification Number
Once you have applied for your Director Identification Number online, you should be issued with your Director ID instantly. It is important that you SAVE A COPY of this number.
If you misplace your Director ID, you will have to contact the ABRS directly here.
You will need to send your Director Identification Number to your company’s registered ASIC agent.
At this stage, your Director Identification Number will be a private, unsearchable number.
It is crucial that directors comply with the DIN requirements once they come into effect because criminal and civil penalties can apply where an individual doesn’t comply with the DIN requirements, for example, by:
- Failing to apply for a DIN with the required timeframes (or if the Regulator directs);
- Intentionally apply for more than one DIN;
- Provide a false DIN; or
- Are actively involved in the contravention of any of the above.
The DIN system is now in a transitional phase and current directors will have until 30 November 2022 to obtain a DIN. We will continue to provide updates but, in the meantime, please contact us if you’d like to discuss your specific situation.
The articles, templates, and media posted on this blog do not give business, accounting, taxation or financial planning advice and should not be relied upon as such. The articles are intended to provide information in a summary form and are general in nature. Formal business, accounting, taxation or financial planning advice should be sought in particular matters. O’Connells OBM Pty Ltd accepts no liability in respect of this information and any person acting solely on the information contained within does so entirely at their own risk.