Form W-9 Instructions, Definition, and Purpose

Form W-9

By Dmytro Serhiiev, Tax Consultant & Co-Owner at PDFLiner

If you work as an independent business contractor or a freelancer, your client may ask you to fill out a printable W-9 form to enable them to make payments to you. It is essential to complete it correctly and understand the W-9 form purpose. Our comprehensive guidelines will help you get an impeccable W-9 exemplar.

What Is a W-9 Form?

Before we delve into this paper’s specifics, let’s start with the W-9 form meaning.

An IRS W-9 tax form is commonly used to provide essential personal data to an individual or a company that is in charge of paying further compensation to another person or company.

If you are somehow self-employed, your client may ask you to send them an accurately prepared W-9 form so that they can report the payments made on your account in their yearly 1099-NEC form. This enables them to know whether you are subject to backup withholding or not.

Who Can File Form W-9?

If you are interested in what we mean by “self-employed,” look at whether you fall under one of the categories below:

  • you run your own business as an independent contractor/freelancer/gig worker;
  • you want to receive monetary compensation for the provided services;
  • you are engaged with an organization that needs to report the following data to the IRS: paying interest on your mortgage or contributing a certain sum to your IRA account.

This business or individual utilizes the data in your W-9 form to:

  • collect some of your personal information such as your name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
  • to prepare other tax returns mentioned in forms 1099 and 1098;
  • to define whether federal tax withholding is required on the money you get.

How to Fill Out a W-9 Form?

Form W-9

Now let’s swift directly to the detailed form W-9 instructions. Get the form template either on the IRS official website or specialized platform with tax forms. Then, enter your data in the following lines and parts:

  1. Put your name in Line 1 if you submit a W-9 form as an individual.
  2. Line 2 requires your business name if you file the form on behalf of your business.
  3. In Line 3, pick the most appropriate federal tax classification for the name specialized in line 1. Based on your situation, check a single box on line 3 of your W-9 form.
  4. Line 4 serves to specialize exemptions. If you work as an individual, you don’t need to fill out this section. However, particular businesses and organizations have to fill out this line since they are exempt from backup withholding in certain instances.
  5. In Lines 5 and 6, write the address, city, state, and ZIP code where another party will mail your Form 1099.
  6. Line 7 is for your account number. Here you should state your bank or brokerage account to supply an individual or business paying you with your account data.
  7. Part I requires your TIN. If you work individually or are a single-member LLC, enter your SSN. If you are classified as a partnership, C corporation, or S corporation, also include your EIN here.
  8. In Part II, you have to sign and date the form to claim the data is liable and accurate. If you are subject to backup withholding as you fail to report all interest on your tax return, cross out Item 2.

Special Considerations When Filing Form W-9

Now that you have a ready W-9 form at hand, you should know where to send it. There are certain details to keep in mind:

  • though the requester (a person or business paying you) doesn’t have to file this paper with the IRS, they may keep the form on file and use your data for other returns;
  • you can use regular mail to return the completed Form W-9 to the requester. Some secure and convenient services empower you to fill out the form online and send it to the recipient risk-free;
  • you might be that “another party” hiring a contractor or freelancer. Be sure to ask them to complete a Form W-9 before you start any engagement. Otherwise, you can be required to perform backup withholding at the end of the tax year.

How to File a W-9 Form?

There is nothing complicated when filing this tax form since all you have to do is send the ready copy to the individual or business who asked you to complete it. You can also deliver this document in person to minimize the risk of identity theft, though it might not be available in some circumstances. Your other options are regular mail or specialized software. To keep your user data secure, check on any service reliability beforehand. A trustworthy platform not only lets you send the final document but fill it out from scratch. Thus you will save both time and effort on completing and filing the form to the requester.

Complete Form W-9 Error-Free & Send It Securely

Since a W-9 form is usually submitted when a person engages in most taxable transactions that have to be reported to the IRS, it is crucial to fill it out properly. Use our guidelines to complete the form and make the most of the modern services to file it easily.

Based on article by

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.