General / Dec 06, 2021

Director ID Numbers are here to stay!

Alicia Thomson
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For all existing and new directors, the idea of applying for a Director ID Number (DIN) can seem overwhelming. Unfortunately we, as accountants and advisers, are unable to apply for the DIN on trustees behalf. However, we can walk them through the process (please forward or share the instructions below with any of your clients if they need a hand).

Why do you need a DIN?

The DIN was introduced as part of the Federal Government’s Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program. The idea is that with only one number used to identify a director, it can combine more than 30 business registers and prevent unlawful director activity, such as illegal phoenix activity. It also assists regulators to trace directors and their company relationships.

The DIN is a unique 15-digit code that is allocated to the individual and stays with them throughout their life.

Who needs a DIN?

Any existing directors need to apply for a DIN as well as any individual who is acting as a Legal Personal Representative (LPR).

Any individual who believes they may become a director in the next 12 months should also consider applying for a DIN. If the individual doesn’t become a director within the 12 month period, the ID will be cancelled but the same number could be reissued to them at a later date, if they re-apply.

What if a director doesn’t get a DIN?

Due to the need to create a myGovID account and apply for a DIN (online, over the phone or via a paper application), some existing directors may be reluctant to comply with the new rules. If a director doesn’t apply for a DIN within their specified time frame (outlined below), they may be hit with both civil and criminal penalties.

It’s important to note that if you have a client who is a director of a corporate trustee and is refusing to apply for a DIN, they may be required to leave the fund.

Key dates for Directors

  • For clients that were appointed as directors prior to 31/10/2021: they have until the 30/11/2022 to apply for a DIN. We recommend that any existing directors apply as soon as possible.
  • For clients that have applied to be a director after 31/10/2021: they must apply for a DIN within 28 days of being appointed as a director.
  • For clients that will be appointed from 05/04/2022: they must apply for a DIN prior to being appointed as a director.

How to apply for a DIN via the online application

It’s free to apply and should only take a few minutes.

Firstly, the director will need to have a myGovID app and account. Please note this is not the same as having a myGov account. To set up the myGovID account, the director (over the age of 15) must first have the following:

  • A smart device: phone or tablet
  • An email address: this should be your personal email address

The director should then:

  • Download the app via the Apple Store or Google Play
  • Enter their details:
    1. Full name
    2. Date of birth
    3. Email address
  • Upload at least two of the following documents to the app:
    1. Driver’s licence
    2. Passport (not more than three years expired)
    3. Birth certificate
    4. Visa (using your foreign passport)
    5. Citizenship certificate
    6. ImmiCard
    7. Medicare card

Once the director has a myGovID account at an identity strength of standard or strong, they can then apply for a DIN. To do this, they need to go to the Apply for Director ID website. We recommend this is done on a computer and not a smart device. This will show a green log in screen where the client enters their myGovID credentials. At this point, they should also have their smart device handy, as they will need to confirm the code that appears on the website matches the code in the myGovID app. In some situations, they may need to type the code into their smart device.

Once logged in, the director will then need to confirm some details about themselves. They will need to fill in at least two of the following, which must match the details held by the ATO:

  • Bank account information
  • Taxable income, as per their Centrelink Payment Summary
  • Dividend or holding statement, to enter their HIN
  • ATO Notice of Assessment
  • The gross amount from their PAYG Payment Summary
  • Superannuation account details (fund ABN and member account number)

When their ATO record has been confirmed, they can then begin the Director ID application. They will need to confirm their personal details to complete the application. A DIN should be provided immediately after the application has been accepted.

If your staff are going to need to help clients, ask them to apply for a DIN so they know what to expect.

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