In a bid to curb illegal Phoenix Activity and enable corporate transparency, the Government has implemented Director Identification Numbers and removed ASIC Search Fees.
ASIC Search Fees
In the interests of promoting transparency and access to the law, the proposed 2022-23 Budget provides that:
The Government will forgo receipts of $64.9 million over 3 years from 2023-24 to streamline fees associated with Australia’s Business Registers as company registration and lifecycle management moves to the modernised platform (scheduled for September 2023). These reforms will:
- Remove the companies annual late review fee
- Reduce the number of fees paid for ad hoc lodgements under current requirements
- Remove fees for searches conducted on the new registry website
- Provide $0.3 million to the Department of Treasury to redesign wholesale business register search services (facilitated by third-party services) (p 6, Budget Paper No. 2).
Director Identification Numbers
These fee removals come shortly after the introduction of Director Identification Numbers (DIN’s). It is now an offence for a director to not have a DIN where required to do so (section 1272C Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act)).
A director identification number (DIN) is a recently introduced regime that impacts both foreign and domestic directors of Australian companies.
A DIN is a unique 15-digit identifier used to verify the identity of a director and is permanently assigned to the director. The requirement to have a DIN applies to any person appointed as a director, or any alternate director acting in that company.
Deadlines apply to directors for the application of a DIN, and varies depending on a director’s appointment date as follows:
|Date of appointment as director||Date of application for a DIN|
|On or before 31 October 2021||By 30 November 2022|
|Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022||Within 28 days of appointment|
|From 5 April 2022||Before appointment|
The new penalties under the Corporations Act are as follows:
|Offence||Provision||Maximum Penalties for Individuals|
|Failure to have a director ID when required to do so||s1272C||$13,200 (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)|
|Failure to apply for a director ID when directed by the Registrar||s1272D||$13,200 (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)|
|Applying for multiple director IDs||s1272G||$26,640, 1 year imprisonment or both (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)|
|Misrepresenting director ID||s1272H||$26,640, 1 year imprisonment or both (criminal); $1,100,000 (civil)|
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