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IRS Form W9 is similar to the Form W-4 that is used for employees, but does not lead to withholding.
Form W-9 is used to request a tax identification number and other information that can later be used to populate tax forms such as 1099s.
Business Owners and other people who hire independent contractors use the Form W-9 to collect the contractor’s information. Independent contractors who are US Citizens or resident aliens fill out a Form W-9, while others may fill out a Form W-8. The IRS W9 is also used to collect information from trusts, estates and corporations who receive income from a business.
Financial institutions may also request the completion of Form W-9, and you may have to fill out an IRS Form W9 for mortgage interest paid, acquisition or abandonment of secured property, cancellation of debt or contributions to an IRA.
If you need someone to fill out a Form W-9, you may download the Form w9 pdf and send it to them or have them download it and send it back to you. The business owner/employer who requests the form does not have to submit it to the IRS unless the IRS requests it. However, you should keep all completed Form W-9s on file in case that request comes.
Please note the W9 2010 was updated in January 2011 and includes new classifications. When you fill out a W9 for 2011, be sure to use the new 2011 W9 form! The form has not changed for 2012 year taxes.