As part of the federal government’s ‘Modernising Business Registers’ program announced in the 2020 Federal Budget, the ATO has recently released the first documentation for the implementation of Director Identification Numbers.

Referred to as “Corporations Director Identification Number Data Standard 2021”, the aim of the program is to ensure that all company directors are identified via a unique ‘Director Identification Number’.

It is hoped that the program will assist the government with preventing the use of false identities along with the prevention of illegal phoenixing activity and to track directors who have been involved in failed companies.

The system will be administered by the Commonwealth Registrar, which will operate as a separate function of the ATO.

The program will require each individual to obtain a Director Identification Number (DIN) from the registrar) where they fall into the following categories:

  • Existing company directors
  • New company directors
  • Prospective company directors (must become a director within 12 months)

The verification process will be largely electronic through a platform provided by the registrar and directors will need to undergo a 100 point identity verification check.

Testing is currently still ongoing and due to complete by 31 October 2021, at which point directors appointed under the Corporations Act will have until 30 November 2022 to obtain a DIN. Anyone wishing to become a director after this date will need to apply for a DIN before being appointed as a director.

Therefore, it is important that if you are an existing, new or proposed company director, that you are familiar with your director obligations under the Corporations Act and you seek advice from your Hoffman Kelly contact where applicable. Big brother will be watching!!