It has been over a year since our previous article, and the deadline is fast approaching for all company directors to apply for a Director Identification Number (‘DIN’). Under the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) (‘the Act’), directors appointed on or before 30 October 2021 have until 30 November 2022 to apply for a DIN. The Act applies to directors of Australian companies, corporate trustees, charities, not-for-profit organisations, registered bodies or foreign companies registered with ASIC – regardless of the entity’s size.
This legislation was enacted to make directors more traceable and accountable to combat illegal phoenixing activities. In pursuit of this aim, each 15 digit DIN attaches to the individual for the remainder of their life, regardless of whether they change companies or are no longer a director. Consequently, regulators and advisors can obtain a more complete picture of individual’s corporate history. Thankfully, if you are an eligible person, this means that you only have to apply for a DIN once.
So, how do you apply for a DIN?
There are three ways through which directors within Australia can apply for a DIN:
- Online via the smart app ‘myGovID’;
- By phone; or
- Through a paper application.
Applying for your DIN online
Please note that myGovID differs to your myGov account. MyGovID is an app used to login to online government services whilst myGov acts as a linking service to Government entities.
If you already have a myGovID account of a ‘Standard’ or ‘Strong’ identity strength, go to step 2.
If you don’t have the app downloaded, you can download it through the App Store or Google Play.
The app will prompt you to verify your identity using at least two of the following documents:
- Driver’s licence;
- Birth certificate;
- Citizenship certificate;
- Medicare card;
- Visa; or
Once your myGovID is set up, you will need to provide the Australian Business Registry Service with your personal information as stored by the ATO. Notably, DINs attach to the person, not the company, and so the information you provide must relate to you in your personal capacity.
This information includes:
- Tax file number;
- Residential address; and
- Two additional documents to verify your identity.
These additional documents may include:
- Bank account details;
- A notice of assessment issued by the ATO;
- Super account details;
- A dividend statement;
- A Centrelink payment summary; or
- A PAYG payment summary.
Once you have the relevant information, login to the Australian Business Registry Services online using your myGovID or click here to be redirected to the page. Once your personal information is collected, the application process will take only 5 minutes. Your DIN will be automatically issued at the end of the process.
Applying for your DIN by phone
If you have difficulties using the myGovID app, you can apply for a DIN by phone at 13 62 50 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm on weekdays.
Similar to online applications, you will be required to verify your identity over the phone. You will need to provide:
- Tax file number (optional);
- Residential address;
- Answers to two questions based on details the Australian Government already knows about you;
- One primary Australian identity document, such as your birth certificate or passport; and
- One secondary identity document, such as your Medicare card or Australian driver’s licence.
Applying for your DIN by paper application
If all else fails, you can apply for a DIN by contacting the Australian Business Registry Services’ directly and requesting a paper application form.
Once the form is complete, you will need to attach certified copies of either:
- One primary and two secondary identity documents; or
- Two primary and one secondary identity documents.
However, this process is slower as it may take up to 28 days to process your application once it is received.
If you are eligible to apply for a DIN and have not yet done so, you must acquire a DIN before 30 November 2022 to avoid potential civil and criminal penalties.
Importantly, you should only apply through the Australian Business Registry Services to protect your personal information.
For more information, head to the Australian Business Registry Services’ guide here or contact our office for additional guidance.