Company directors in Australia now have a deadline for getting a director’s identification number under the provisions of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) legislation.
This deadline will affect directors in more than 2.9 million registered Australian companies, including the corporate trustees in self-managed super funds (SMSFs)
What is the requirement to hold a director’s identification number?
A DIN is designed to be a single, unique and permanent identifier for all of Australia’s company directors.
It will remain attached to all Australian company directors even if they cease to be a director, change their name or move overseas.
It is designed to ensure that company directors can always be traced and held accountable for their activities. The introduction of the DIN scheme was driven by the Federal government’s desire to clamp down on illegal ‘phoenixing’ activities. This is when a new company is set up to continue the operations of a company that has been liquidated to avoid paying debts to creditors. The term derives from the phoenix character in Greek mythology that rose from the ashes.
There are significant penalties for directors who attempt to supply fake names to get around the intentions of the DIN scheme.
When do I have to do it by?
Most current company directors in Australia will have until 30 November 2022 to apply for their DIN.
However, current directors of Indigenous corporations will have until 30 November 2023.
In addition, there are the different requirements for new directors who are appointed following 1 November 2021:
- new directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must register for their DIN within 28 days.
- new directors from 5 April 2022 will have to apply for their DIN before appointment.
How can I apply for a director’s ID?
You will be able to apply for a DIN online from November 1 this year via the newly created Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). This ABRS platform will replace the existing Australian Business Register platform.
It is free to apply.
You will need the following when applying:
1) your MyGov ID
2) two proof of identity documents (such as a tax assessment notice or your bank account details).
You can speed up the registration process by providing your tax file number.
You will also be able to update your contact details via the ABRS website anytime.
Who needs it?
- An eligible officer of a ‘company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)’
- Director of an Australian company who resides overseas
- Director of an ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).’ (ABRS, Oct 25)
Who doesn’t need it?
- Sole Traders
- Partnerships (unless you are a director of a partnership entity)
- External Administrators
What happens if I don’t?
If you don’t apply for your DIN before the relevant deadline, you face a fine of $1.1 million (or $200,000 if you are a director of an Indigenous corporation).
How we can help
Our experienced team of business advisors at Wilson Pateras in Richmond can provide you with advice on how this new DIN requirement will affect your business.
We can also help you with any other accounting or tax services your business needs.
Contact us today to find out more. We would be happy to set up an appointment to answer any questions you may have.