Following on from our previous publication, the new Directors Identification Number (DIN) legislation is now in effect and all Australian company directors must now apply and be issued with a DIN or suffer the penalties.
What is a DIN and how does it work?
The DIN is a unique 15 digit identifying a number of a company director in Australia that they will have indefinitely, just like a tax file number.
The DIN will start with 036 (being the three-digit country code for Australia under the International Standard ISO 3166) and ends in the 14 numbers unique to the director inclusive of a single ‘check’ digit number.
A person who receives a DIN will keep it forever even if he or she changes companies stops being a director, changes their name or moves interstate or overseas.
The DIN will help identify a director in any company or where they hold office thereby allowing cross-referencing for everything from standard search functions and ease of lodgements to dealing with insolvencies, fraud and misconduct.
When to apply
When you must apply for a DIN depends on the date of your appointment as a director of an Australian company:
|When you were appointed||When you must apply|
|Before 31 October 2021||Between 1 November 2021 and 30 November 2022|
|Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022||Within 28 days of the date of your appointment.|
|After 5 April 2022||Before your appointment can be recorded on the ASIC register.|
Directors who fail to apply within the requisite period may be the subject of an infringement notice, civil or criminal penalties, and may of course be removed from the ASIC register.
How to apply
Applications can be made online from 1 November 2021, by first obtaining a MyGovID (www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up) and then applying for a DIN online at the ABRS website (www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number).
You will need the following information to verify your identity when you apply:
- Your tax file number;
- Your residential address as held by the ATO;
- Information from two documents to verify your identity.
Examples of two documents which can be used include:
- Bank account details
- An ATO notice of assessment
- Super account details
- A dividend statement
- A Centrelink payment summary
- PAYG payment summary.
Applications can be lodged in paper form by downloading the form from the ABRS website and lodging it with certified copies of two Australian identity document, at least one primary identity document and one secondary identity document.
- Australian full birth certificate (extracts and commemorative certificates are not acceptable)
- Australian passport (including passports that have expired in the past two years)
- Australian citizenship certificate or extract from a Register of Citizenship by Descent
- Visa (if you are using a foreign passport but you are still in Australia).
- Medicare card
- Australian driver’s licence or learner’s permit. This must show your photo and signature, and the address on the card must match your details on the form.
Applications can also be made by telephone. To apply by telephone you will need to have handy:
- Your tax file number
- Your residential address as held by the ATO
- Two Australian identity documents (as above)
What else should you do?
Companies must ensure that their current directors obtain a DIN within the required time as penalties may otherwise arise and if a director is removed from the ASIC roll, this could have consequences for the company’s internal governance.
Companies will need to amend their procedures to collect and verify a director’s DIN before he or she is appointed. Forms and precedents should be amended to provide for declaration of the DIN where applicable.
Directors applying for multiple DINs or misrepresenting their DIN could be liable for up to 12 months imprisonment. Any other person involved in such an offence can be liable for a civil penalty fine as an accessory.
This article was written by Nadia Rawlings, director in business law and finance at Bennett & Philp Lawyers and finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards (Banking and Finance) and the Women in Finance Awards (Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year) for 2020 and 2021. You can book your free consultation session with Nadia directly via LawTap or contact her today on +61 7 3001 2913.
Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation (personal injury work exempted).