W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification UW Madison

w9 tax form meaning

However, if you are an employee of the business, you should fill out Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, instead. Businesses withhold federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes for their employees and pay the taxes on their behalf. If you are an individual and report your income from the contract work on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, this line is straightforward. If you are a sole proprietor or single-member limited liability company (LLC), you should enter your own name on line 1 as well. Partnerships, multiple-member LLCs, C corporations, and S corporations should enter the entity’s name as shown on the entity’s tax return. The IRS Form W-9 is a request for taxpayer identification number (TIN) and certification.

If you make a false statement with no reasonable basis that results in no backup withholding, you are subject to a $500 penalty. With TurboTax Live Full Service Premium, have a dedicated expert uncover every tax deduction and file your investment and self-employment taxes for you. We’ll search 500 tax deductions & credits w9 tax form meaning to provide comprehensive coverage. Your certification states that you are a U.S. citizen, other U.S. person or resident alien. If you are preparing your W-9 as a joint account, only the person whose TIN shows in Part I should sign. This will be the address where the person or business will mail you your 1099.

Form W-9 vs. Form W-4

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein. Most often, when you’re a self-employed contractor, 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. The W-9 is a straightforward “information return,” meaning it’s just for giving someone else a piece of information they need (rather than the IRS). But because you’re not sending it to the IRS, you need to be careful about who exactly you send it to.

  • Any independent contractor performing services that will total more than $600 in a calendar year must fill out a W9 form.
  • If 1099 filers don’t misuse the TINs reported and use TIN matching to avoid an incorrect TIN, they won’t receive as many backup withholding and penalty notices.
  • In order to do that, these organizations need some basic tax information from you, including your taxpayer identification number, name or business name, and address.
  • Current projections predict that nearly 86 million Americans will work as freelancers or contractors in the US by 2027.
  • W9 forms are provided for free by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Form 1099 is only required to be issued once the minimum income threshold is reached, which for most miscellaneous income is set at $600.

That person keeps the form on file and uses this information to prepare other returns, such as 1099 Forms and 1098 Forms, as well as to determine whether federal tax withholding is necessary on the payments you receive. W-9 forms are used in many different situations, often for independent contractors or freelancers. It’s important to fill out the form correctly as you may be subject to penalties if it is completed incorrectly; however, all of the information should be relatively easy for you to obtain.

How to Complete a W-9 Form

You should have each U.S.-based contractor fill out a W-9 as part of their onboarding paperwork, generally due to your accounting department before they sign a contract and begin work with the company. Keep it for your records so you have the information you need to file a 1099 for the contractor in January for tax season. There are 18 different 1099 forms, each one relating to the nature of the income. This includes freelance or contract income, but also real estate sales earnings, debt cancellation, pension contributions and more.

Businesses use the form to collect information from the independent contractors, freelancers, and vendors they work with who are US citizens who are required to pay taxes to the IRS. Instead, it’s a record of taxpayer identification for an employer. It doesn’t contain any information for a contractor that’s useful at tax time.


For example, if John Smith was sole proprietor of Speedy Plumbing, he would fill out the first line as John Smith and the second line as John Smith DBA Speedy Plumbing. This is an optional line where you can fill in any account numbers your employer may need. The form itself isn’t even an entire page long, excluding the instructions. The business that hires you should fill in its name and employer identification number (EIN). If your business does not get a TIN from a contractor, you could face penalties from the IRS. You must not only collect the TIN but also demonstrate that you are keeping the data private.

  • Write “Applied For” if you intend to apply soon for a TIN or have already applied.
  • If a payee believes they are being subjected to backup withholding in error, they should contact the payer to resolve the issue and provide any necessary documentation to correct the situation.
  • If an employer doesn’t provide a correct 1099, the penalty is $570; that fine is per contractor, not a flat fee.
  • However, simply filling out a W-9 doesn’t require a person to pay taxes.

Most broadly, Form W-9 must be filled out by independent contractors that perform work for another party with which they are not employed. This includes freelance workers or gig employees under non-employment structures. This form is officially called the ‘Certificate of Foreign Person’s Claim for Exemption From Withholding on Income Effectively Connected With the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States’. It is filed by foreign individuals who receive income from US-based payers after engaging in a trade or business with them. The income they receive is considered “effectively connected income” by the IRS.

Box four, exempt payee and FATCA reporting codes, are also not required in most cases. If you don’t have a TIN yet, apply for it and write “Applied For” in the space for the TIN. You can get an SSN from the Social Security Administration or an EIN from the IRS. Write “Applied For” if you intend to apply soon for a TIN or have already applied.

An independent contractor fills out this form when you hire them to work for your business, so you have the tax information you need to record how much you paid them at the end of the tax year. W9 forms are not submitted to the IRS, so there is no official due date for obtaining a completed form. Because W9s are used for tax preparation, however, best practices involve obtaining a W9 from any individual https://www.bookstime.com/ to whom your business will send a 1099 before the start of the work engagement. This ensures that you have all of the information you need for tax purposes before the start of tax season. On line 1, individual taxpayers must provide their name as it appears on their tax return. Even though they are technically a business entity, sole proprietors must put their own legal name in this section.

The requester of the taxpayer information is not exempt from penalties either. If the requester discloses or uses the taxpayer’s TINs in violation of federal law, the requester may be subject to civil or criminal penalties. The IRS has outlined several penalties for failure to furnish or comply with the reporting requirements of Form W-9. If the taxpayer fails to furnish a correct tax number, the taxpayer is subject to a $50 fine for every instance of non-compliance with tax law and regulation. This penalty can be waived if the taxpayer can prove the non-compliance was not due to willful neglect. Form W-9 is only used if the taxpayer is a U.S. person (including a resident alien).

  • Here’s a look at how Form W-9 works and how to file related forms.
  • Payers typically request a W-9 form when they need to obtain the TIN of an individual or entity for tax reporting purposes.
  • Barbara is a financial writer for Tipalti and other successful B2B businesses, including SaaS and financial companies.
  • All U.S.-based independent contractors to whom your business pays at least $600 in a tax year are required to provide a W-9.
  • When beginning to work as either an independent contractor or an employee, you should expect to fill out some paperwork providing your personal identifiable information.
  • The contractor or freelancer is subject to a $50 per-attempt fee if they fail to comply.