This article is to to remind you of the new legislation requiring all directors of Australian companies to have a director identification number (director ID). You will need to apply for a director ID if you are a company director. This includes an SMSF corporate trustee or family trust director. You will also need to apply for a director ID if you are acting in the capacity of an alternate director, even if you are appointed for a specified period or on a temporary basis.
What is a director ID?
A director ID is a unique 15-digit identifier that a director will apply for once and will keep forever. A director can only have one director ID that they must use for all companies. The purpose of introducing director IDs 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 director iD?
New company directors will need to apply for a director ID before they are appointed. All existing company directors need to apply before 30 November 2022.
UPDATE: On the 30th November, it was announced by the Tax Office that directors will now have until the 14th December 2022 to appply for their directorID.
How do I apply for a director ID?
Unfortunately, we are unable to apply for a director ID on your behalf. You must apply for your own director ID to verify your identity. You will need to go to ABRS website and follow the steps below.
Step 1: Set up a myGOVID
You will need a myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength using at least 2 Australian identity documents, such as:
- Driver’s licence or learner’s permit
- Birth certificate
- Citizenship certificate
- Medicare card
- Visa (using your foreign passport)
If you already have a myGovID go to Step 2.
Note: 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 online government 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.
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 director ID. You will need to complete a ‘proof of ATO record ownership’ (PORO) by providing the following:
- 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
- APRA fund account details
- A dividend statement
- A Centrelink payment summary
- PAYG payment summary
If you need help with these documents, please contact our office.
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 director ID:
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, and any former names and complete the declaration.
The application process should take less than 5 minutes, and once complete, you will instantly receive your director ID.
Note: 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 DIRECTOR ID IF I CAN NOT GET A MYGOVID?
Living in Australia
If you currently live in Australia, phone the ABRS on 13 62 50 to apply for a director ID. To apply by phone, you’ll be asked to verify your identity. You’ll need the following:
- your tax file number (TFN) (optional)
- your residential address as held by the ATO
- answers to 2 questions based on details we know about you
- a primary and secondary Australian identity document. (As set out above)
Living outside of Australia
If you currently reside outside Australia, you can apply using a paper application form, “Application for a director identification number”. In addition to completing the form, you’ll also need to provide certified copies of your documents that verify your identity. Do not send the ABRS the originals as they will not be returned.
Directors calling from overseas can phone the ABRS on +61 2 6216 3440.
Don’t get caught out.
All directors should apply for their director ID before the relevant deadline. Failure to comply with the new director ID requirements or providing false or misleading information may result in both civil and criminal penalties. Please also take care when applying for your director ID. Only apply via the abrs.gov.au website as it is a secure site that will keep your information safe.
Once you have received your director ID, please advise Kennedy Cross. Should you need any assistance with applying for or understanding your director ID obligations, please contact the team at Kennedy Cross.