This is to inform you about new legislation requiring all directors of Australian companies to have a director identification number (DIN).
You will need to apply for a DIN if you are a company director. This includes if you are a director of the corporate trustee for your SMSF or family trust.
You will also need to apply for a DIN if you are acting in the capacity of an alternate director, even if you are appointed for a specified period or a temporary basis.
What is a DIN?
A DIN is a unique 15-digit identifier that a director will apply for once and will keep forever. A director can only have one DIN that they must use for all companies.
The purpose of introducing DINs is to prevent the use of fictitious director identities, assist regulators trace directors’ relationships with companies and better identify directors involved in unlawful activity.
When do I need to apply for a DIN?
When you must apply for a DIN depends on the date you became a director.
The table below summarises the key dates of when you need to apply for a DIN.
How do I apply for a DIN?
Unfortunately, we are unable to apply for a DIN on your behalf. You must apply for your own DIN to verify your identity. We can however assist you by advising you of the steps and timelines involved.
Firstly you will need to visit the ABRS website (abrs.gov.au).
Click on “Director identification number” near the top of the homepage OR scroll down to “Apply for your director ID”
Follow the 3-step process set out on the website, being:
Step 1 – Set-up a myGovID
You will need a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength using two Australian identity documents, such as:
- Driver’s license or learner’s permit
- Birth certificate
- Visa (using foreign passport providing still in Australia)
- Citizenship certificate
- Medicare card
Tip – myGovID is different from myGov
myGovID is an app. You download the myGovID app to your smart device. It lets you prove who you are and log in to a range of government online services, including myGov.
myGov is an account. Your myGov account lets you link to and access online services provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Centrelink, Medicare and more.
If you already have a myGovID go to Step 2.
Step 2 – Gather the documents required for identification
You will need to have some information the ATO knows about you when you apply for your DIN.
You will need to complete a ‘proof of ATO record ownership’ (PORO) by providing:
- Your tax file number (TFN)
- Your residential address as held by the ATO
- Information from two documents to verify your identity
Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:
- Bank account details
- An ATO notice of assessment
- Super account details
- A dividend statement
- A Centrelink payment summary
- PAYG payment summary
Step 3 – Complete your application
Once you have a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength, and information to verify your identity, you can log in and apply for your DIN:
Your myGovID details and ATO details will be prefilled and all you need to do is enter your place of birth, postal address, mobile number, any former names and complete the declaration.
The application process should take less than 5 minutes and once complete, you will instantly receive your DIN.
Tip – if you are a director and living overseas, you can still apply online if you can verify your identity with myGovID.
How do I apply for a DIN if I cannot get a myGovID?
If you can’t get a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength, you can apply by phone or with a paper form.
You can apply by phone if you have:
- An Australian TFN
- The information needed to verify your identity (as listed above)
The phone number is 13 62 50 and is available between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday for directors in Australia. For directors calling from overseas, the number is +61 2 6216 3440.
If you can’t apply online or over the phone, you can apply using a downloadable form ‘Application for a director identification number’ (NAT 75329). This is a slower process and you will also need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity.
Don’t get caught out
All directors should apply for their DIN before the relevant deadline. Failure to comply with the new DIN requirements or providing false or misleading information may result in both civil and criminal penalties.
Please also take care when applying for your DIN. Only apply via the abrs.gov.au website as it is a secure site that will keep your information safe.
Please feel free to contact our accountants in Adelaide if you need any assistance with applying for your DIN or understanding your DIN obligations.