What is Form W-9?
Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, is a form by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the federal tax agency of the United States. Companies that hire self-employed workers use it for tax-filing purposes.
Entities and individuals who are required to file an information return must obtain the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN), to report amounts paid to hired self-employed professionals. When an entity or a business sends Form W-9 to a freelancer, independent contractor, or consultant, the recipient has to provide his or her personal and financial information, as required in the form.
Other situations may also require you to fill out Form W-9, including certain real estate transactions, paying for mortgage interest, payment of student loan interest, cancellation of debt, and earning of interest from a bank.
If you are a self-employed professional, you will use Form W-9 when paying your self-employed taxes and filing your returns.
Where to get Form W-9?
You may download and print a copy of Form W-9 from the official IRS website that you can fill out manually. For your convenience, you can electronically fill out Form W-9 using a PDF filler application, such as PDFRun.
How to fill out Form W-9?
Form W-9 is a single-page form that consists of three sections. Answer it accurately and correctly to avoid any problem with the IRS.
Item 1 — Name
Enter your full legal name. It should match the name on your individual tax return.
Item 2 — Business Name
Enter your business name, trade name, doing-business-as (DBA) name, or a disregarded entity name, if you have any; otherwise, you can leave this portion blank.
Item 3 — Federal Tax Classification
May the appropriate box to determine your tax status according to the IRS classification. You can select:
- Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC
- C Corporation
- S Corporation
- Limited liability company — If this option, enter the tax classification in the appropriate box. You may enter:
- C — For C Corporation
- S — For S Corporation
- P — For Partnership
- Other — Specify your tax status.
Item 4 — Exemptions
Enter a number or a letter code that explains your exemption. Only use this section if you are exempt from backup withholding or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reporting, or both.
Exemption from backup withholding codes:
- 1 — An organization exempt from tax under section 501(a), any IRA, or a custodial account under section 403(b)(7) if the account satisfies the requirements of section 401(f)(2)
- 2 — The United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities
- 3 — A state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. commonwealth or possession, or any of their political subdivisions or instrumentalities
- 4 — A foreign government or any of its political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities
- 5 — A corporation
- 6 — A dealer in securities or commodities required to register in the United States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. commonwealth or possession
- 7 — A futures commission merchant registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- 8 — A real estate investment trust
- 9 — An entity registered at all times during the tax year under the Investment Company Act of 1940
- 10 — A common trust fund operated by a bank under section 584(a)
- 11 — A financial institution
- 12 — A middleman known in the investment community as a nominee or custodian
- 13 — A trust exempt from tax under section 664 or described in section 4947
Exemption from FATCA codes:
- A — An organization exempt from tax under section 501(a) or any individual retirement plan as defined in section 7701(a)(37)
- B — The United States or any of its agencies or instrumentalities
- C — A state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. commonwealth or possession, or any of their political subdivisions or instrumentalities
- D — A corporation the stock of which is regularly traded on one or more established securities markets, as described in Regulations section 1.1472-1(c)(1)(i)
- E — A corporation that is a member of the same expanded affiliated group as a corporation described in Regulations section 1.1472-1(c)(1)(i)
- F — A dealer in securities, commodities, or derivative financial instruments (including notional principal contracts, futures, forwards, and options) that are registered as such under the laws of the United States or any state
- G — A real estate investment trust
- H — A regulated investment company as defined in section 851 or an entity registered at all times during the tax year under the Investment Company Act of 1940
- I — A common trust fund as defined in section 584(a)
- J — A bank as defined in section 581
- K — A broker
- L — A trust exempt from tax under section 664 or described in section 4947(a)(1)
- M — A tax-exempt trust under a section 403(b) plan or section 457(g) plan
Item 5 and 6 — Address
Enter your address, including your house number, street , and apartment or suite number, city, state, and ZIP code.
Requester’s name and address
This item is optional. Enter the requester’s full legal name and residence address.
Item 7 — Account Numbers
This item is optional. Enter any account numbers the business or individual who sent Form W-9 may find useful.
Part I — Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
Enter your nine-digit SSN if you are filling out Form W9 as an individual or single-member LLC.
Enter your EIN if you are filing for a corporation or partnership.
Enter your SSN and EIN if you are filing as a sole proprietor.
Part II — Certification
Signature of U.S. person
Affix your signature.
Enter the date you signed the form.
Where to submit Form W-9?
When you receive Form W-9 from a business or an individual who hired you as an independent contractor, do not Form W-9 to the IRS after filling it out; return it to the sender.