Oct 10, 2021 Matthew Hung

Director identification numbers available soon

The Federal government has now confirmed the due dates for application by all directors for a Director Identification Number (DIN), with applications open from November 2021.

The rules require existing company directors to apply for a DIN by 30 November 2022, while directors of Indigenous corporations that are governed by the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) will be required to apply for the unique identifier by 30 November 2023.

New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 will be required to apply for a DIN within 28 days after appointment, while those directors who are appointed from 5 April 2022 will be required to apply for their DIN before appointment.

Applications may be made on the newly established Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), a single platform administered by the Commissioner of Taxation, combining ASIC’s 31 business registers and the Australian Business Register.

Directors are required to apply for their director ID themselves, and produce their myGovID alongside two identity documents from a list including their bank account details, super account details, ATO notice of assessment, dividend statement, Centrelink payment summary, and PAYG payment summary.

Unlike a tax file number which is subject to privacy restrictions, the DIN will be publicly available and will attach to a director for life.  It will provide traceability of a director’s relationships across companies, enabling better tracking of directors of failed companies, and preventing the use of fictitious identities.

Under this 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. Directors of a CATSI organisation can face penalties of up to $200,000.

The penalties also extend to conduct that undermines the new requirements, including providing false identity information or intentionally applying for multiple DINs.

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