If you have a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) with a corporate trustee company as trustee, then each director will need a director ID – and beware, there is not much time left to obtain one before the cut off.

What is a director identification number and do you need one if you have an SMSF?

There have been changes to the rules and requirements for directors of Australian companies. These changes introduced the need for directors to obtain what is known as a director identification number (director ID).

If you have a SMSF which has a corporate trustee company, then these requirements will apply to you. The changes encompass SMSF with a corporate trustee. It is important that all directors of your corporate trustee apply for and obtain their own director ID. There are some important timeframes within which these new rules must be complied with.

Similar to a tax file number, a director ID is a unique number that a director of an Australian company including the corporate trustees of SMSFs must apply for and obtain. You only need to obtain one director ID. So, if you are a director of a number of companies, you only need one director ID for all the companies. The director ID will stay the same regardless of whether you change companies, resign from your position within any company or change your name for example.

It is important to understand that your application for a director ID must be made individually by you the person requiring the director ID. This is because you are required to prove your identity as part of the process.

So, what is the point?

Well, the Government has been introducing a Digital Business Plan and part of that process includes the roll out of what it calls the Modernising Business Registers program. Part of this program includes the requirements for company directors to obtain a director ID. The object of the introduction of this program is to stop the use of false or fraudulent director identities and also, to increase the efficiency of the system by making it easier to meet registration obligations and trace director activity and relationships. It is hoped that by improving the integrity and security of business data that a reduction in the risk of unlawful activity will follow.

Obtaining a Director Identification Number – how to do it

The fastest way to apply for your director ID is online at abrs.gov.au/directorID. The process of obtaining a director ID is as follows:

  1. Set up myGovID – you will need a myGovID before you can apply for your director ID online. If you do not already have a myGovID you will need to set this up before you can apply for your director ID online. You can visit mygovid.gov.au/setup for more information about setting up a myGovID.
  2. Gather your documents – You will need various information including your tax file number and your residential address as recorded by the ATO.
  3. Prepare and lodge your application.

It is important to understand that you must apply for your director ID yourself, so that the ATO can verify your identity.

How long do you have to get the ID?

The director ID deadline will depend on when you were first appointed as a director of any Australian company. Please note that this is not necessarily the date that your SMSF corporate trustee company was established. Please contact our office if you are unsure which deadline applies to you.

  • If you were appointed on or before 31 October 2021, then you must have applied for your director ID by 30 November 2022.
  • If you were/are appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 then you must have applied for your director ID by 30 November 2022.
  • If you are appointed as director after 5 April 2022, then you must apply before your appointment as director.