Current Australian directors will now have one year to apply for their unique director identification number before substantial fines of potentially in excess of over $1.11 million are introduced for failure to comply with the new regime.
The Director Identification Number (DIN) regime has been passed by parliament and is now law. Existing company directors will need to apply for a director identification number (director ID) by 30 November 2022. This applies to directors if their organisation is a company, registered foreign company, registered Australian body or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.
A director ID is a unique identifier that a director will apply for once and keep forever, even if they cease to be a director, change their name, or move overseas.
Applications for a director ID are free and will open as of 1 November 2021 on the Australian Business Registry Services (www.abrs.gov.au). The ABRS is a new platform administered by the ATO combining numerous existing sites such as the ABR and more than 30 ASIC registers in one place.
Directors must apply for their director ID themselves, and will be required to produce their myGovID together with two identity documents from a list that includes drivers licence, passport, birth certificate, medicare card, super account details, ATO notice of assessment and payment summaries.
Directors who do not have a myGovID account will need to create one at mygovid.gov.au
The registrar can request the director’s tax file number but cannot force them to disclose it.
While existing directors will have a year to apply for their director ID, new directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 will have just 28 days after appointment to apply for their director ID.
New directors who are appointed from 5 April 2022 will be required to apply for their director ID before appointment.
Under the law, directors who fail to apply for a director ID within the stipulated time frame can face criminal or civil penalties of 5,000 penalty units, which currently stands at $1.11 million.
Penalties will also apply for conduct that undermines the new requirements, including providing false identity information to the registrar or intentionally applying for multiple director IDs.
The government expects the director ID regime to help prevent illegal phoenixing by ensuring directors can be traced across numerous companies, while also preventing the use of false or fictitious identities.
If you need assistance establishing a My Gov ID and your Director Identification number we recommend that you organise a time with our office in order that we can step you through the process.