All directors or anyone seeking to be a director are now required to verify their identity and apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN), a unique 15-digit identifier.
The new requirements are designed to:
- prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities;
- make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time; and
- identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity such as phoenixing activities.
The DIN is also meant to protect the privacy of directors by allowing them to be identified on public registers without disclosing information that is currently accessible, such as dates of birth and residential addresses. This is particularly important given the risks of cyber security and identity theft.
Who must apply for a DIN?
All directors and alternate directors of a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company must obtain a DIN.
The requirement to apply for a DIN is not limited to public companies. It applies to all companies, regardless of size or purposes. This includes a private/family company, wholly owned by an individual that is also the sole director.
When must an application be made?
The timing of a DIN application depends on the Directors date of appointment and may be summarised as follows:
|Date of appointment||Date for DIN application|
|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|
How do directors apply for a DIN?
Applicants are required to verify their identity using a combination of identification documents and existing ATO held information. Applications must be made by the relevant director themselves. Whilst Calibre Business Advisory can assist you, we cannot apply on your behalf.
There are options available to apply for a DIN:
- Online – An online application process is available via the MyGovID account. It allows users to authenticate their identity with various Australian Government websites. .
- By phone – You may apply by phone if you have an Australia Tax file number (TFN) and have the other information you need to verify your identify.
- Paper form – If you cannot apply online or over the phone, you can apply using a downloadable form. This process may take longer to complete and you will also need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity.
Foreign Directors that do not hold an Australian TFN will need to apply via the paper form.
What happens if directors fail to comply?
Failing to hold a director ID may result in an infringement notice or possible civil and/or criminal prosecution. The maximum penalties are 60 penalty units ($13,320 at the current penalty unit rate of $222) and 1 year imprisonment.
Contact Calibre Business Advisory if you have any questions in relation to the above. We can assist you in clarification of the new requirements, and with paper form applications. Alternatively, do not hesitate to contact us on 0292612177.