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Director ID – How to apply and other questions answered

There’s been a lot of talk lately about director’s ID.

This is a new identifier for directors, so no apologies if you don’t know what it is about.

It’s quick to apply and once you have done it, it’s yours for life, even if you close your business.

But as with most new things, it can be a bit confusing at the start.

This guide is designed to take you through how to apply for your director ID. We’ve even added some frequently asked questions to help clear up any queries you may have about the director ID.

What is a director ID?

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 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Who needs a director ID?

 

It is compulsory for all directors of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company, corporate trustee of an SMSF, charity or not-for-profit organisation or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation will need a director ID.

When do I apply for a director ID?

A director ID is a relatively new requirement for directors of Australian companies and trusts. 

If you are already a director, some leniency is given to directors and depends on when they were appointed and under which ACT.

If appointed under the Corporations Act 2001:

  • before or on 31 October 2021, directors must apply by 30 November 2022
  • between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, directors must apply within 28 days of being appointed
  • from 5 April 2022, directors must apply before they are appointed.

Directors of companies regulated by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 have a different time frame in which to apply.

Why do I need a director ID?

A director ID increases transparency and helps foster a fairer business environment for all. 

It will also help regulators track director relationships with companies, and strengthen efforts to identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful behaviours such as illegal phoenix activity.

How to apply for a director ID

OK, so you know you now need one. 

How do you apply for a director ID?

Before you start, set yourself up with a smart device and access your myGovID app.

Please note, your myGovID must have at least a Standard identity strength to continue. If you don’t have a myGovID at all or the Standard identity strength as a minimum, you will need to set this up before applying for your director ID.

Step 1: Collect your documents

If your myGovID has a Strong identity strength you will need to provide one of the following documents:

  • Your tax file number (TFN)
  • Your residential address as held by the ATO

If your myGovID has a Standard identity strength you will need to provide: 

  • Your tax file number (TFN)
  • Your residential address as held by the ATO
  • Plus, information from 2 of the following documents to verify your identity. 

These include:

  • Your bank account details are held by the ATO (this can be where you’ve had a tax return refund paid into or an account that has earned interest in the last two years.
  • An ATO notice of assessment
  • APRA super fund account details including the super fund’s Australian Business Number (ABN) – it’s easy to google your super funds ABN.
  • A dividend statement
  • A Centrelink payment summary
  • A PAYG payment summary – this is different to your income statement or your PAYG instalment activity statement.

Now that you’ve collected the documents you’ll need for your director’s ID, it’s time to apply.

Step 2 – Log in to ABRS

Login to ABRS online using your myGovID. It is highly recommended you use Google Chrome or Firefox browsers for this.

Enter your email address

You will receive a 4-digit code that your need to enter into your myGovID app. This verifies your login.

Click on apply for director ID, as shown on the screen – you will be guided to enter the document numbers required in Step 1.

Your new director ID will be displayed on the screen. Print this out or write it down as you will need this number in the future.

How to apply for your director ID if you can’t apply online?

If you live in Australia and are not able to apply online for your director ID, you can do it over the telephone by calling 13 62 50.

Again, you will need a few documents to verify your identity before you call.

  • your tax file number (TFN) – optional but it will help speed up the process
  • your residential address as held by the ATO
  • A primary and secondary Australian identity document.

Primary documents include:

  • your Australian full birth certificate (extracts and commemorative certificates are not acceptable), 
  • Australian passport (including passports that have expired in the past 3 years), 
  • Australian citizenship certificate or extract from a Register of Citizenship by Descent
  • ImmiCard
  • Visa (if you are using a foreign passport but you are still in Australia)

Secondary documents include:

  • Medicare card
  • Australian driver’s licence or learner’s permit. This must show your photo, licence card number and signature, and the address on the card must match your details on the form.
  • Information from 2 other documents to answer questions we know about you. This may include:
    • bank account details
    • notice of assessment
    • super account details
    • dividend statement
    • Centrelink payment summary
    • PAYG payment summary.

How to apply from overseas for a director ID

If you are currently overseas and can’t apply for your director ID online follow these steps –

Step 1: Download your form here.

Step 2: Fill out the information requested on the form 

Step 3: Make certified copies of your identity documents (do not mail your originals) –

  • one primary and one secondary identity document, or
  • 2 primary identity documents.

Step 4: Mail the original form and your certified copies of identity to:

Australian Business Registry Services 

Locked Bag 6000 

ALBURY NSW 2640 

AUSTRALIA

Once completed, your director ID will be sent to your postal address on your form. It may take up to 56 days to receive your director ID. In the meantime, do not apply for another director ID.

Well done, you now have your director ID.

What do I do now that I have my director ID?

Keep your director ID handy as you may need to use it with the ATO. 

You will need the ID number when incorporating a new company as well.

It is not mandatory to provide your director’s ID to anyone but it is a good idea to share it with your accountant, tax or BAS agent, so they have it on file.

We’re not finished yet. You may have a few other questions you’d like answered.

How much does a director ID cost?

Great news! It’s free to apply for a director ID. 

You’ll only ever need one director ID, even if you change companies.

Can my accountant apply for my directors ID?

No, your accountant can not apply for your director ID. 

Only directors can apply for their own director ID as this is an important document and the ABRS need to verify your identity before issuing your director ID.

Your accountant, tax agent, BAS or ASIC agent can help you decide if you need to apply but can’t apply on your behalf.

Do I need a different directors ID for each company?

No, you only need one director ID for each director. 

You will use the same director ID for each company you are a director of.

What happens if I don’t apply for a director ID?

ASIC’s enforcement role now covers four new director ID offences under the Corporations Act 2001. 

Maximum penalties include failure to have a director ID when required to do so, failure to provide a director ID when directed by the Registrar, applying for multiple director IDs, and misrepresenting director ID.

What happens if I don’t have one?

Well…you could get fined, and the numbers go from $13,200 and could be up to $1.1m!

 

If you’re still having trouble applying for your director ID, we’re happy to help. Use our live chat on the bottom right-hand side or call our customer service line on +61 2 9100 0480 to speak to a Sleek accountant.

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