About Form W

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what is a w9

No pressure, no credit card required. This one’s for people who are filing outside the United States. If you’re an international business entity and don’t know how you fit into the America system, check out the IRS’s guide to international business entities. If you’re unincorporated and share ownership of your business with one or more other people, you’re probably a partnership. If you’re doing business, don’t have a business partner and haven’t incorporated your business, you’re probably a sole prop.

what is a w9

This includes freelance or contract income, but also real estate sales earnings, debt cancellation, pension contributions and more. The amount you need to report depends on the type of income, starting at as low as $10 for interest gains and reaching up to $20,000 for special credit-card transactions. Line 5 requires the address where your employer will mail your information returns. The following line, Line 6, leaves a space for you to enter the city, state and ZIP code of this address. If you are exempt from reporting required by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act , you will fill in the second line. The latter only applies if you hold your accounts outside the United States. If you maintain your account in the U.S., you can leave the second line blank or write “N/A.” If you’re unsure about your exemptions, Page 3 of the form outlines situations that would make you exempt.

However, an employer may ask an employee to fill in a W-9 which he/she will send in place of the 1099. A business owner is obliged to report any payments of US$ 600 or more made during the tax year.

Form W

If their answer doesn’t align with any valid reason, you legally don’t have to provide one. Another quick way to tell is to determine whether the business aspects of the relationship are controlled by the payer.

Your client, bank or other financial institution have to send you a W-9 themselves if they need you to fill one out. Generally speaking, if you have to fill one out, it’s on its way.

Small Business

You want to make sure you’re not accidentally sending your personal information to the wrong people. At the end of the tax year, the business you did work for will use the information on your W-9 to complete a1099-MISC. This form outlines all the payments made to you. A financial institution may also require you to report interest, dividends and capital gains earned by their customers. When you are asked to fill out a W-9 form, at some point in the future you may receive a 1099 tax form from the person or business that pays you. This is similar to an employee’s W-2 form, but is much simpler since it only reports your gross payments.

That includes how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, which party provides tools, supplies, etc. Usually, the party requesting a W-9 Tax Form will provide a blank one for you to fill out.

You can also find a PDF version of it on the IRS website. Most often, you send it to someone so that they can then send you back Form 1099, which you need to submit to the IRS if someone paid you more than $600 this year.


You’ll then fill out the form line by line. The title of Form W-9 is officially Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. Employers use this form to get the Taxpayer Identification Number from contractors, freelancers and vendors. The form also provides other personally identifying information like your name and address.

A full-time employee is not required to fill in a W-9 because the business should already have the person’s information on file. Sometimes an unscrupulous employer or one that’s struggling financially will ask you to fill out the W-9 purely to save money. Remember, a full-time employee fills out the W-4, not the W-9. Employees working in a permanent, full-time capacity are required to fill in the W-4, not the W-9. The only time you might be requested to fill in the W-9 as a permanent employee is if you’ve received compensation other than your monthly wages.

The default is that you are not exempt. You expected a Form W-4 instead.If you’re starting a new job and your employer hands you a W-9 to fill out, ask whether you’ll be working as a self-employed independent contractor or as an employee. Employees complete Form W-4, not Form W-9, to set their tax withholdings. Completing Form W-9 is pretty straightforward.

what is a w9

You can also easily download the form from the IRS website. Only the party that requested it needs a copy. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Another option is to send it through a service such as FedEx, UPS, or the postal service, though there is no guarantee your form will not be lost, stolen, or tampered with in transit. If you’re collecting W-9s, you should make sure to send them well before the 1099 deadline. The deadline for form 1099-MISC is January 31, and most other 1099s are due around the same time.

Online AL, DC and TN do not support nonresident forms for state e-file. Software DE, HI, LA, ND and VT do not support part-year or nonresident forms. H&R Block tax software and online prices are ultimately determined at the time of print or e-file. From paying down debt to splurging on vacation, H&R Block’s Latina bloggers have great tips for ways to invest or spend your tax refund smartly. For additional W-9 tax form details, you can review the Form W-9 Instructions, which are included with theIRS W-9 formon its website. Using the right tax filing software can help you ensure that all your tax forms are correct.

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  • The business you work for must classify you as an independent contractor or an employee.
  • Fees apply if you have us file a corrected or amended return.
  • You expected a Form W-4 instead.If you’re starting a new job and your employer hands you a W-9 to fill out, ask whether you’ll be working as a self-employed independent contractor or as an employee.

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Firstly, make sure you are filling in the W-9 requested for legitimate reasons. Secondly, fill in the information correctly so there are no comebacks. There are a few exceptions where you may be asked to fill in the W-9. A bank, brokerage firm or lending institution will request it if it has cancelled a debt that you owe. A business should either ask you to fill out a paper copy or will assist you with accessing the electronic filing system that they are using.