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A few months ago, we announced that the Director Identification Number (DIN) regime is coming. Well, it has arrived.

What is a DIN?

A director ID is a unique identifier, like an individual’s tax file number. The purpose is to verify a director’s identity, preventing false or fraudulent director identities.

What entities are affected?

From 1 November 2021, if you are or intend on becoming an eligible officer of one of the following entities, you will need to apply for a DIN:

  • Company – registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation – registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act)
  • corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed super fund
  • charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
  • registered Australian body, for example, an incorporated association that is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated
  • Foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia (regardless of where you live).

Who needs to apply for a DIN?

An eligible officer is a person who is appointed as:

  • a director
  • an alternate director who is acting in that capacity.

Presumably, the DIN does not apply to the office of secretary or public officer.

Where do eligible officers apply?

Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) is a new non-ASIC registry set up for the DIN regime. Initially, the DIN register is its only function. However, several existing registers from ASIC and ABR will be transitioned over to the new ABRS by 2024 as follows:

  • the companies register (currently ASIC)
  • business names registers (currently ASIC)
  • Australian business numbers (currently ATO)
  • professional and historical registers.

On 4 April 2021, the Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australian Business Register, was appointed as Registrar of ABRS.

How do eligible officers apply for a DIN?

Eligible officers apply for a DIN via the new ABRS at www.abrs.gov.au. The application can only be prepared and submitted by the individual.

There are three steps in applying for a DIN:

  1. Set up myGovID. MyGovID is a digital identity that is now used for many government online services like MyGov. Stored on a smart device, it is similar to the old bank 100-point system for opening a bank account. Once set up, it is used for the log in process. If you already have MyGovID setup you can proceed to step two.
  2. You will need to provide information from your taxation records, eg bank details provided to the ATO or issue date and reference number from an income tax Notice of Assessment. 
  3. Provide some personal contact details like address and phone number.

When do you apply for a DIN?

Various dates and transition date apply as follows:

  • Directors as at 31 October 2021 – applications must be made by 30 November 2022.
  • Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 – within 28 days of appointment.
  • From 5 April 2022 – prior to appointment.

The application process is pretty simple for someone like me who has much experience accessing online government services. However, a person with less computer/device experience, for example, an older individual, could find the process of setting up a MyGovID challenging. Once that is set up, the DIN application is pretty easy, providing you have the correct ATO information.

If you are setting up a company or business, Maynard Accounting provides consulting services that help you understand your obligations and to be aware of approprit\ate compliance. Enquire at 07 23208 3888.

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