The Director Identification Number (director ID) is a unique identifier that a director will apply for once but will stay with a director for life, offering greater identity security. You will need a director identification number if you’re a director of a company or a corporate trustee of a self-managed super fund (SMSF), registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation. The objective is to prevent the use of false and fraudulent director identities.
How and when to apply for DIN?
Directors will be able to apply for a Director ID from November 2021 on the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) online at https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number and log in using the myGovID app to complete the application process. Furthermore, they will need to provide proof of identity documentation to verify their identity. A director can choose to provide their tax file number when applying for a DIN, which should expedite the application.
myGovID is not the same as myGov. If you have provided identity information to set up a myGov account, you will have to do it again for a myGovId app.
Directors will need to apply for their director ID by themselves to verify their identity. No one can apply for it on their behalf. There is no fee to apply.
When will directors need to apply?
It is being phased in. When you need to have a director ID will depend on when you were appointed as a director. The table below illustrates this.
How director ID works?
A director ID is a 15-digit identifier given to a director (or someone who intends to become a director) who has verified their identity with ABRS.
Directors will only ever have one director ID. They’ll keep it forever even if they – change companies, stop being a director, change their name, move interstate or overseas.
Why you need a director ID?
All directors are required by law to verify their identity with ABRS before receiving a director ID. This is important because it will help to:
prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities
make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time
identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity.
On 1 July 2021, the super guarantee rate will rise from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent. Some pay periods will cross over between June and July when the rate changes.
The ATO advises that the percentage employers are required to apply is determined based on when the employee is paid, not when the income is earnt.
The rate of 10 per cent will need to be applied for all salary and wages that are paid on and after 1 July 2021, even if some or all of the pay period it relates to is before 1 July 2021.
That means, if the pay period ends before 30 June, but the pay date falls on or after 1 July, the 10 per cent rate applies on those salary and wages which are ordinary time earnings. The date of salary and wage payment determines the rate of super guarantee payable, regardless of when the work was performed.
On 4 December 2019 a case of fraud and theft was heard in Mt Druitt Magistrates Court NSW against an unregistered tax agent. The case highlights the risk of identity crime and the importance of not sharing your private myGov password information.
Information obtained from the hearing of Benjamin Cox revealed that
he had fraudulently posed as a tax agent and lodged over a thousand
individual tax returns using each taxpayer’s personal myGov access. He
charged clients for his services and also stole some refunds his clients
were due,using his own bank details to take the payments.
Mr Cox advertised his services through Facebook and Gumtree,
targeting vulnerable people in the community who were unfamiliar with
the Australian tax system.
In court Mr Cox pleaded guilty to the following charges:
Dishonestly obtained financial advantage etc by deception under the NSW Crimes Act 1900 paragraph 192E(1)(b).
Dealt with identity information to commit etc indictable offence under the NSW Crimes Act 1900 section 192J.
As a result of his actions, Mr Cox received a two-and-a-half-year
prison sentence to be served in the community by way of an Intensive
Corrections Order. He was also ordered to pay over $13,000 in
compensation to the ATO and his victims, and has had $22,000 worth of
his assets seized.
Tips to identify unregistered preparers
People pretending to be tax agents often promise refunds that are too
good to be true or provide discounted services much cheaper than
legitimate registered tax agents.
Another tell-tale sign to look out for is that unregistered preparers
often use a taxpayer’s personal login details to access their ATO
Online account through myGov to lodge tax returns. A legitimate tax
practitioner will never ask for your myGov credentials – they use
dedicated ATO Online services to lodge returns for their clients.
Giving an unregistered agent your myGov password also puts your personal information at risk.
Make a complaint
If you know of someone providing tax agent services for a fee or other reward who is not registered, you can let the Tax Practitioners Board know at tpb.gov.au/complaints