SMSFA issues call to action on director IDs

SMSF Association director ID

The SMSF Association has called on its members to remind their clients to apply for a director ID and has provided guidance on the steps to make that happen.

Directors of a corporate SMSF trustee, including those who have resigned their position after 31 October 2021, have been urged to apply for a director identification number (director ID) by the SMSF Association (SMSFA), which has released a white-label letter for use by its members.

The SMSFA contacted members today reminding them that any client who was a director of a company as at 31 October 2021 had to apply for a director ID by 30 November 2022, and this included directors of a company established for the sole purpose of acting as the trustee of an SMSF.

The association noted the requirement to apply for a director ID also extended to former directors of a company.

“The SMSF Association recently confirmed with the ATO that this obligation to obtain a director ID also applies to any client [of a member] who was a director on or before 31 October 2021, even if they have since resigned from all directorship roles and have no intention to ever be appointed in the role of director of any Australian or foreign company,” it stated in its member communication.

“With just over two months to go before the 30 November 2022 deadline, now is the time to be contacting your SMSF clients with a corporate trustee.”

To assist members, the industry body has made available a white-label document explaining the steps required to apply for a director ID, noting the fastest way to do that before the 30 November deadline was online via the Australian Business Registry Services website using a myGovID to access the director ID application process.

SMSF trustees are also reminded in the letter that an application can be made over the phone or by using a paper form available from the ATO, but, according to the SMSFA, “this is the least preferred option and will require you to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity”.

A final reminder also noted the application could not be handed off to a client’s adviser or accountant as the ATO needs to verify the identity of each trustee, but practitioners were able to guide clients through the process and how to source documents to verify their identity.

The reminder and letter from the SMSFA follow on from its concerns over the lack of awareness by the directors of corporate SMSF trustees about the need to obtain a director ID, particularly where the corporate trustee is the only company they are linked to.

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