IRS Form W9 is similar to the Form W-4 that is used for employees, but does not lead to withholding.
What is a W9 Form?
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.
When do you Use a W9 Form?
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.
Typically business owners distribute W-9 Forms when they expect to pay out more than $600 in freelance income, thus requiring them to file a 1099 with the IRS.
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.
Requesting a Form W9
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.
Fill out your Tax ID number. For individuals this is your Social Security number. For businesses it is your Employer Identification Number. For trusts or estates it could be a different number provided by the IRS.
Read the certification and sign the Form W-9.
Submit the Form W-9 to the person or business that requested it.
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