SMSF trustees: reminder to apply for director IDs (December 2021 Client Alert)

| Wealth, Accounting

Directors of corporate trustees of self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) should be aware that the director identification regime is now in force. Depending on when you became a director, the deadline for application is either November 2022 or within 28 days of the appointment. The application process itself is easy and can be done online through the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). Once you receive it, your 15-digit identification number will be permanently linked to you even if you change companies, stop being a director, change your name or move interstate or overseas.

The director ID regime was implemented as a way 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, and identify and eliminate director involvement in unlawful activity, such as illegal phoenix activity.

To apply for your director ID, you first need to set up myGovID, which is different to myGov. The myGovID is an app that you need to download onto your smart device and confirm your identity by using standard documents (drivers licence, passport, etc). You’ll then be able to log on to a range of government services, including the online director ID application with the ABRS.

To complete the director ID application, you need to provide additional information such as your tax file number (TFN), residential address, and/or details from two additional specified documents to verify your identity, such as: bank account details; ATO notice of assessment; super account details; a dividend statement; Centrelink payment summary; or PAYG payment summary.

Once you receive your director ID, you need to pass it onto the record-holder of the corporate trustee, which may be the company secretary, another director, a contact person or an authorised agent of the company. If the corporate trustee changes or you become the director of another company, you will need to pass on this information to the new corporate trustee or the other company.

Please contact us if you require assistance with obtaining your director ID. For instance, some people are eligible to apply via paper form, such as those who struggle with technology, or directors who live outside Australian and can't get a myGovID with a Standard or Strong identity strength.

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