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Australian company directors have just one week to be forced into mandatory digital ID

There's a growing pushback over privacy concerns.

About one million Australians are not aware of, or are ignoring, a tax office requirement with only one week to go before the deadline, Sky News Australia reported.

For every person covered by the Corporations Act, the Australian Tax Office requires them to apply for digital director IDs. The corporations act covers those running most small businesses, major entities, charities, and nonprofits. Those who do not sign up for the director IDs could face fines of up to $13,000 and be deemed ineligible to operate a company.

So far, fewer than 1.5 million of the 2.5 million company directors in the country have registered for the director IDs. Some have blamed the slow roll out on poor messaging by the ATO, but the agency disagrees.

Implementing the scheme is within what the ATO calls the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS). Its deputy registrar, Karen Foat, said the ABRS has done a lot to inform the public about the scheme, including through accountants, annual electronic reminders, and an advertising campaign.

Foat said the issue is not people not knowing about the new requirement, the issue is that people are postponing registering.

“We know that people just love to leave things to the last minute. We’re all human,” she said.

“This is really quite different to cleaning out your garage (or something else) that you can just put off. It is actually something that people need to do. It’s not optional.”

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