The deadline for applications for Director Identification Numbers (DIN’s or Director ID’s) for existing Directors as outlined in our has been set. It’s now imperative that existing and new officeholders understand the additional obligations for those operating in the capacity of a Director.

Existing Directors will now have until 30 November 2022 to obtain a Director ID. Directors of indigenous organisations governed by the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (“CATSI Act”) will have an additional 12 months to comply. Details of the procedures and information requirements to obtain a Director ID were not included in the primary legislation, however a separately issued legislative instrument (“data standard”) was issued on 15 April, 2021. The Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) has established a new electronic platform administered by the ATO, which combines ASIC and the Australian Business Registers. The platform will open to general applications from November 2021, having completed its period of testing with invited applicants.

Applying for a DIN

Currently only Directors and acting Directors of Australian corporations and registered foreign companies under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), including companies responsible for managed investment schemes and registered charities, are required to apply for a DIN. At this stage, the DIN requirements do not extend to unincorporated bodies, de facto or shadow Directors, or company secretaries.

Per the Data Standard, the information that may be required in an application, or to update existing Director ID details can include:

  • names and former names;
  • addresses and former addresses;
  • contact details; and
  • date and place of birth
  • tax file number (can be requested but not compelled)

If the above isn’t deemed sufficient to establish the individual’s identity, the Regulator is empowered to make further requests for information and have flagged documentation such as ATO notice of assessments, PAYG payment summaries, dividend statements or superannuation account details as examples. To complete the online application, a myGovID is required

At this stage, foreign directors will need to provide certified copies (not originals) of one primary and one secondary identity document. The primary documents may include foreign birth certificates or passports, while secondary documents can include national (photo) identification cards, foreign government identification, drivers licence (with matching address) or marriage certificates. Documents must be translated into English by an approved service and accompanied by a certified copy of the original by a notary public or staff at the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate, which can often present difficulties for foreign directors.

DIN transitional application period

The transitional application period has been published via Federal Instrument as 04 April 2021 to 30 November 2022.  As such any person appointed as a Director from the commencement date to 4 April 2022 will have 28 days to apply for a DIN from that appointment (which generally coincides with the ASIC notification deadline). However from 5 April 2022, individuals will need to apply for a DIN before being appointed as a Director.  Directors appointed under the CATSI Act before 31 October 2021 will have until 30 November 2023 to apply, with new directors from 01 November 2022 requiring applications to be made prior to appointment. 

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