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What is a Form W-9?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A Form W-9 is a document that is issued by the United States Department of the Treasury's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is used when a person or company needs to request a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), claims for exemption and specific certifications from a person, company, trust or estate in the U.S. The form must be completed and returned to the requesting person or company, which used the information for tax filing purposes. A Form W-9 is not filed with the IRS. One of the most common instances when this form is used is when a person has provided his or her services as an independent contractor or freelancer, and the person or company for which he or she worked needs his or her TIN to report the payments to the IRS.

Basic Information

This form, which is sometimes miswritten as a Form W9, first asks for information such as the person or entity's name and address. There is a section where a box must be checked to indicate what type of person or entity is completing the form, such as a trust or estate, an individual, a corporation, a partnership or an exempt payee. The specific classification for some types of companies also must be indicated.

Taxpayer Identification Number

The next section on the form fulfills its primary purpose, because it is where the person or entity must provide a Taxpayer Identification Number. For an individual, this usually is his or her Social Security number. If he or she is a resident alien, however, it is his or her Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). For a company or other entity, the TIN is its Employer Identification Number (EIN). A sole proprietor who has an EIN can enter either that number or his or her Social Security number.


In the next section, the person or entity can certify that certain things are true. The first is that the TIN that is listed is correct or that a new TIN is in the process of being issued. Next is that the person or entity is not subject to backup tax withholding, although this line must be crossed out if it is not true. Third is that the person or entity is a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person, as defined by the IRS, including a resident alien, company, estate or a specific type of trust. A signature and date are then required in most cases.

There are some instances in which no signature is required or in which the second item in this section should be crossed out. The form includes instructions that indicate how this section should be properly completed. Among the various situations that have special instructions for this section are when the form is used for the purpose of real estate transactions, interest or broker accounts, mortgage interest, cancellation of debt or contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA).


The requester will use the information collected on the Form W-9 to produce a Form 1099. A 1099 details the money that was paid to the person or entity during that tax year. This form is both sent to the person or entity and filed with the IRS. The requester can use a substitute Form W-9 if it is substantially similar to the form issued by the IRS. If this is the case, the person or entity is required to fill out the substitute form rather than a Form W-9.

Taxes Not Withheld

Unlike the Form W-4, which employees use to authorize an automatic tax withholding from their paychecks, filling out a W-9 does not causes taxes or Social Security payments to be withheld. An independent contractor, for example, is solely liable for the full amount of taxes on his or her income. Therefore, payments that are made to an independent contractor do not have any amounts withheld. The payer reports on a Form 1099 how much was paid during the year, and the independent contractor must pay the taxes.

Other Situations

In some cases, a person or company might request a Form W-9 to be filled out but will end up not needing to use the information or file a Form 1099. If the payments made during the tax year were less than a certain amount, for example, then a Form 1099 does not need to be filed. For independent contractors, the minimum amount was $600 US Dollars as of 2012. Some types of payments are exempt from needing to be reported on a 1099 as well. Detailed instructions and all of the forms are available on the IRS's website.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By kazmax — On May 19, 2014

I paid a deposit to have an event in STL. Unfortunately I had to cancel and request a refund. The company is requesting I fill out a W9 and provide my SSN to get a refund for my deposit. I called the IRS and was told that form is for business. I am a retired disabled veteran and the funds are from my disability pay. What can I do?

By gr1977 — On Feb 06, 2014

Why would you fill out a w9 form for a company you are buying from. You are paying them, they are not paying you.

By beverlym — On Nov 12, 2013

I recently got a 600 loan from a finance company. They just sent me a substitute w-9 to fill out. I have to pay this back, I'm not a contractor; I'm a disabled granny. Why do they need me to certify I'm not subject to backup withholding?

By anon342016 — On Jul 16, 2013

My 12 year old child is joining a talent agency and I'm wondering if I'm supposed to fill out my information or his for tax purposes.

By anon336040 — On May 25, 2013

I was the decorations chairman for the after prom party at my son's high school a couple of weeks ago and had a budget assigned to me of $2000. I spent only approximately $1680, using my own credit card for about $1400 worth of the total.

I kept meticulous records, saving and detailing every single receipt from about 20 different retail and wholesale businesses. I submitted my reimbursement request with all the documentation, and I have just received a W-9 form in the mail from the school saying I have to fill it out and return it because the IRS requires that they obtain such information from all vendors. I am not a vendor! I am a parent who volunteered! This is not income! I am just asking to be reimbursed for what I advanced for decorations from my own pocket. I cannot believe I would have to provide my SS number.

Does the IRS have to be advised of things like this, seriously? Is my reimbursement going to be a tax liability for me? Sheesh. The school is closed, of course, for the long weekend, so I can't call them until next week. Meanwhile, my reimbursement is being held up and my credit card bill will be due soon.

By anon332654 — On Apr 30, 2013

I am an individual taxpayer and owner of rental property. I have been advised by my CPA that I must have all individuals/businesses who provide services such as grass cutting, handyman repairs, A/C repairs, etc to complete a W-9 and then provide them with a 1099 at year's end if they are not incorporated. Is this true? I need an answer!

By anon325367 — On Mar 15, 2013

I am in the USA on a L1-B visa, employed and paying tax. My girlfriend who is also a foreigner is here as a tourist, but had a part time job where she worked and now they asked her to let me fill in the W9 form with my social security number.

Besides the fact that she worked as a tourist, is there any illegal activity or possible consequences when I file taxes for her?

By anon321830 — On Feb 24, 2013

Can a w-9 be paid quarterly?

By anon298528 — On Oct 20, 2012

My car was damaged by the gate at the apartments where I live (in TX). Their video supports it was not my fault. They attempted to talk me into filing a claim with my auto insurance, and then my renters insurance. After I refused to do either, they then turned to their gate servicing company. Ultimately, they offered to provide a check for the lowest estimate (of the three I provided). Since these are estimates (not the final cost), I asked why I should be paying the difference? No answer. They then said that I would have to sign a W-9 for the check. I said their check was not income to me, nor am I an independent contractor in the business of having my car damaged to make money.

I am waiting for a response at this time.

By anon262646 — On Apr 20, 2012

Can someone who signed a W9 form at time services begin, then when let go say they were miss classified and try to hold a company responsible for their taxes and try to obtain unemployment benefits?

By anon248150 — On Feb 16, 2012

Regarding post 71 and some others: Know this, the IRS workers and other government workers are not the ones who make the laws. The laws are made by the Congress that the people elected.

Government workers like the IRS are just people trying to do their job. If you don't like the red tape, don't complain to the workers at the IRS; change the elected officials in Congress. Don't kill the messenger.

By ctro0221 — On Nov 09, 2011

My spouse and I are litigating a foreclosure to try to keep the house. In August, the storm damaged our property, we filed a claim and we got a check to us and mortgage company. Went to the bank to have it endorsed and they said it would be returned within 10 business days but to go ahead with repairs and mail the check to bank to be endorsed in another state.

We paid the roofer (brand new - $8,100 out of pocket) which is for an amount less than the check however we still have some minor damage to be completed. Mortgage company not releasing the check without W-9 from roofer. We paid for the roof out of pocket, the money came from our insurance company for premiums we paid and the mortgage company kept the check.

Why does the mortgage company need a W-9 from the roofer? Shouldn't the money be repaid to us and not to the roofer? Can I request a W-9 from the mortgage company since they kept the money?

By anon223193 — On Oct 18, 2011

Through our fiduciary agent, I requested to be reimbursed for mileage and related expenses. Our FA is a non-profit and received funding for the project I am working on. They have asked that I complete a W9. Do I need to complete this to be reimbursed?

By anon204156 — On Aug 08, 2011

Can an attorney opening an individual client trust bank account sign the w-9 on behalf of his client? The ssn reported would be of the client's, but the client is not a signer on the account, only the attorney is.

By anon173720 — On May 08, 2011

I suffered property damages due to a fallen tree. The tree belonged to property owned by Bank of America. I had the damages fixed with my money and now am seeking reimbursement. BAC wants me to fill out a W9 form in order to get reimbursed for my expenses. Is this the correct procedure? Do I have to pay taxes on the reimbursed amount?

By anon156768 — On Feb 28, 2011

I am a realtor in Canada. I gave a us realtor a referral and the deal is now closed. His office asked about a W-9. Do I have to fill one out even though I am a canadian?

By anon150642 — On Feb 08, 2011

Can the government just get out of my business? All this extra paperwork is just burdening everyone who posted above me, millions of man hours lost in IRS red tape.

Just what we need in a depression: more paperwork. I guess all those new IRS workers need something to do. I wonder how much their pensions are.

By anon142256 — On Jan 12, 2011

My wife and I have a LLC that holds commercial real estate. One of our tenants has asked that we fill out a W-9 and I don't believe that I have ever done so. Is the LLC required to provide a W-9 to the tenant?

By anon141929 — On Jan 11, 2011

@anon91177: Yes you have to pay taxes on your winnings - but you do have the ability to offset winnings with any losses that you can show.

So, if you won $6,000 and lost $5,000, your net income from gambling will be $1,000. If you won $6,000 and lost $7,000, you can only claim $6,000 as a loss, so a net income of $0.00.

By anon140372 — On Jan 07, 2011

My husband and I had dinner at a casino – just dinner. No gambling was involved. The restaurant mischarged our debit account. They quadrupled the charge for dinner. They told us that those charges would be removed that evening. They was not. And they kept charging our account for three days.

Our account went into an overdraft status twice. We have since received a check from them to cover those overdraft charges and the extra money charged for our dinner. Now they want us to fill out a W9 for the reimbursement check they sent us. This situation is going from bad to worse! Is this action justified?

By anon133441 — On Dec 10, 2010

I am working a temporary promotion for a marketing firm which consists of 13 hour days. They had us all fill out W-9 forms prior. Are they required to pay us over-time by California law or are we still considered IC's?

By anon132766 — On Dec 08, 2010

I belong to a boating club 501(c)(6) and someone wants to donate $500 to the club for boating equipment. They want us to fill out a W-9 with our tax ID. Since we're a non-profit and non-charitable, corporation, does their request make sense?

By karias — On Oct 27, 2010

Can you tell me if I need to fill out a W-9? I am a farmer, sole proprietor, selling wholesale flowers to wholesale vendors. A customer said he needs me to fill this form out. Aren't the receipts I give him with each purchase sufficient? I sure could use some help here. Thanks you.

By anon120459 — On Oct 21, 2010

We are an IT service provider company. We have invoiced $200k to our US client. Before paying they say IRS approval is required. Previously we got $25k from another client but that time IRS approval was not required. Can you please explain?

By anon119987 — On Oct 19, 2010

am i required to fill out a w 9 if i am a corporation? Does the payer need it if i am a corporation?

By anon119912 — On Oct 19, 2010

Our company participated in the Healthy Blue program from Blue Cross Blue Shield, and employee earn dividends or cash, so if I've earned $1000, and they recommend that there are tax implications where I have to report that next year. How does this work? Do I have my employer give me a copy of the W-9 or what's the process? Thanks.

By anon118534 — On Oct 14, 2010

I am a salon owner. Do I need to W-9 my suppliers?

By anon104951 — On Aug 18, 2010

The W9 is used to create a 1099. If you are an employer/seller, you collect the W9.

By anon93874 — On Jul 06, 2010

I run a web site and sell advertising. I sold an ad for $30. They refuse to pay without a W9. Do I need to go through the process of registering for the $30? Is this legal for them to require it?

By anon92551 — On Jun 28, 2010

I'm interning and receiving no pay. I was asked by the employer to fill out a W9 form. Why is this necessary?

By anon91966 — On Jun 24, 2010

Yes anon91177: Gambling winnings are a form of taxable earned income that you'll have to pay taxes on.

By anon91177 — On Jun 20, 2010

I played Blackjack at a casino and lost over $6000 over a four-hour period. Subsequently, I was able to win back my money, but was asked to complete a W9 Form and provide my SS number, which I did. Does this mean that I will have to pay income tax on money that was mine to begin with?

By anon78450 — On Apr 18, 2010

I run a small bookstore and a client has requested a form W-9 from me. The amount of their order exceeds $600, but my profit is far under. After deduction of the cost of books purchased, I am left with a small amount. Do I still send it?

By anon75480 — On Apr 06, 2010

I am anticipating receiving a settlement for an EEOC age bias complaint from my former employer. They want me to complete a W-9 and in their mediation they state "none of the payment is designated as a salary or wage payment and there will be no withholding. Will I need to pay federal and state taxes for 2010 tax returns? Thanks.


By anon75286 — On Apr 06, 2010

I run a travel agency and a client has requested a form W-9 from me. The amount of their vacation exceeds $600, but my profit is far under. Most of their costs will be used to pay hotels, airlines, etc, leaving me with a small amount. Do I still send it?

By anon71396 — On Mar 18, 2010

Do I have to fill out a W-9 form even though I don't work and pay taxes in order to cash out on a stock from my father's will? (I am the Trustee) CJ

By anon67091 — On Feb 23, 2010

Very helpful, thank you.

By wildbutler — On Feb 21, 2010

I am named as a beneficiary to my deceased relative's living trust and have not received any income during 2009 nor any year prior. The trust assets have not been liquidated and remain in control of the trustee.

The trustee asked me to complete a W9 form in order to complete the trust's 2009 tax return. The trust produced income for the first time in 2009 from rental income of a property held in the name of the trust.

Is it required of me to complete a W9 given that I have not received any income from the trust nor do I owe the IRS any back up personal taxes?

By anon63380 — On Feb 01, 2010

I worked for 1 company as independent contractor for 2005 and 2006, I need to find 1099 records, which I never received from the company. How do I go about this?

By anon62705 — On Jan 28, 2010

I am a small company that occasionally provides web design services to clients. Over the course of the past year, I have contracted two freelancers from India and entered into a contract with a corporation in India to provide design services. What are my take withholding obligations as the contractor?

By anon54502 — On Nov 30, 2009

Our club recently received a request from our bank to submit a w-9 because the IRS told them our tax id number doesn't match the one we have listed on our bank account.

I understand that this could mean anything from the numbers not matching to the names being different (there have been a couple name variation over the years).

Is there a way besides calling that I can find out what info the IRS has?

I've called them but the hold times are ridiculous. Thanks.

By anon52843 — On Nov 17, 2009

my husband recently passed away. He was an independent agent for a large insurance company. As his widow I am entitled to his renewal commissions, per his contract. The company wants me to sign, notarize and return a W-9 form. Is this the correct way of handling this?

By anon51398 — On Nov 05, 2009

anon42325, I am not a professional in this area but what you are proposing may constitute fraud. The insurance was on the home not you, The insurance payment to the roofer was for him to repair the roof. You are putting him in a bad position because he is being paid to do a job that you are asking him not to do. As a owner of a construction company I understand that the roofer would be liable for the repair of the roof once the check from the insurance company is cashed.

By anon49130 — On Oct 17, 2009

I rent and work in a loft, should or do I have to fill out a W-9 form at the landlord's request?

By anon47299 — On Oct 03, 2009

i am working for a company that never took taxes out before or had me fill out anything. now they're asking me to do a W4 and a W9. i'm OK with the w4 but why a w9? are they going to make me pay back taxes? should i do both of them or just a W4?

By anon43051 — On Aug 25, 2009

This might sound a little complicated, but here goes. My home was in foreclosure at the time my husband and I filed an insurance claim. Because the home was in foreclosure the mortgage holder requested that my roofer fill out a W-9 for the repairs. While waiting for our check our home sold in a short sale. The roofer has received the check, but obviously we are not going to do the repairs. The way I look at it, the roofing money is ours. Could I just pay my roofer the taxes due and he could just cut me a check for the rest of the money? Isn't he just liable for the taxes? Will the mortgage holder send him a 1099? -Anon5771

By anon42325 — On Aug 20, 2009

I'm seeing a real estate ad and in it, the agent remarks the listing company is asking for the form W-9 to be submitted on behalf of the buyer. It states "W-9 Form required from selling broker with seller acceptance." Why would a seller want to see a W-9 when more importantly the buyer's ability to buy normally is attested to by an approval letter from a Lender? I don't understand the reason a seller would want to see a buyer's past earnings as being the determinant in approving a buyer's request to buy as opposed to a Lender's approval for a home loan. Can anyone explain? Thanks.

By anon39990 — On Aug 05, 2009

I work for a non profit organization who also operates thrift stores. We purchase new goods for our thrift stores to sell. Do we need a W-9 from these vendors to purchase from them and sell in our stores. --Mike

By infoguy — On Jul 28, 2009

just need some info as a foreign author selling books in the USA and getting royalties: what form must I fill, W8 or W9?

By dannyboyx1 — On Jul 23, 2009


what forms should I have my workers sign besides the w9 to protect my business.

I have a kiddie train ride at a mall.


By jaap2521 — On Apr 11, 2009

I never had to fill out a w-9 form before for my other job, but this new job is making me fill one out. Can someone tell me in detail, is it a good idea to fill one out or should I speak to my manager about a w-2 form? Does a w-9 form benefit me anyway?

By kathied — On Mar 03, 2009

I am currently a nonresident alien with employment authorization. I am awaiting my green card. I started doing contract work for a state health department in June, 2008. When I was initially hired, I did not fill out a W-9 form because I was a nonresident alien. As a result I did not receive a 1099 form for 2008.

What form was I supposed to fill out in order to get a 1099-equivalent for non-resident aliens? What form does a nonresident alien submit to the IRS to report income?

By Veterans — On Feb 09, 2009

We are a tax exempt organization. Never have we paid taxes on any donations. We do fill out a 990N each year because we are under the $25,000.00 limit. I have never been requested for a W-9. The instructions are vague when it comes to our status. We do not fit the category. This reverts back to my original question. Are we required to apply for the W-9? and if so, Why? Especially considering we are Tax-exempt.

By anon26105 — On Feb 08, 2009

Posted by: anon21115

Right on the W-9 it states: You are considered a person if you are: An individual - a partnership, corporation, company or association formed in the US - an estate or a domestic trust. Lot's of the questions on this forum could be answered simply by reading the documents.

By anon26104 — On Feb 08, 2009

Posted by: anon10492

Financial Aid is considered income - therefore you would have to fill out a W-9

By anon26103 — On Feb 08, 2009

Anytime you receive income, such as in the way of radio contest winnings, work done for someone that actually hired you and so on - you have to file out a W9.

A W-9 is for the requiring company to generate a 1099 form, which shows how much money (or cash equivalent) was paid to you by them.

If you continue to do work as a sub-contractor for a particular company over a period of time, then you do not have to fill out a new W9 every year. Taxes are not withheld on the W9 - but that income is reported to the IRS. Therefore, when you file out your income tax, you would have to pay taxes on that income.

By Veterans — On Feb 01, 2009

I belong to a non profit veterans organization with a 501-c-19 status. I am promised a donation, but the institution requests a W-9. We are not contractors, nor do we have any employees. We do have a federal tax number.

Is it necessary to supply a W-9 even though we do not match the requirements?

By anon25580 — On Jan 31, 2009

Allstate Insurance Company sent my husband a Substitute W-9 form. They want him to sign it and mail it back to them. Why is that? They didn't ask me to sign one and I have auto, home and life insurance also.

By anon25354 — On Jan 27, 2009

I rented a home to a vacation rental and they are now asking me for a w9. Although the contract was not signed nor their name was on it do i still have to fill one out? The cashiers checks also did not have her name on it. Who if any should I give a w9 form?

By anon24215 — On Jan 08, 2009

I worked as an independent contractor. I was given a w-9 but never turned it in. Now i received a call asking for my soc. sec., address, and complete name so that I could be mailed my 1099 form. Does that mean that I still have to pay the taxes, even though I never signed the w-9?

By anon21115 — On Nov 10, 2008

I understand that a W-9 is not for any company which is Incorporated, but what if they are LLC, LP or Sole Proprietor???

By giusepp8 — On Oct 17, 2008

I am a US citizen but i am a resident in italy.

I opened a bank account in italy that will let me trade stocks and they asked me to do the w-9 form.

Is that correct or should i compile the form w-8?

By anon19283 — On Oct 09, 2008

My husband recently went through a series of interviews with another company. The interviews required travel to/from a city in another state, lodging, etc. He was told that his expenses would be reimbursed. After submitting the expenses, the company asked that he complete a W-9. Should he have to complete this form?

By lorikindler — On Oct 08, 2008

My husband and brother co-own a home which we are going to rent. The tenant is getting assistance from a non-profit which has asked us to complete a W-9 form. Do we need to complete 2 forms? Will the non-profit understand to split the rent between the 2 of them? We do plan to become at least an LLc, but have not done this as of yet.

Thank you.

By debberdo — On Oct 03, 2008

Recently my husband became a Snap-On franchisee. He sells tools to companies and their employees off of his truck. One of the companies requested that he fill out a form W-9. Their employees pick what tools they want to purchase, then the company pays the tool bill. They then bill the employee weekly on their paycheck for the tool purchase. My question is is my husband required to fill out this form? Isn't he just a retailer?

By anon18503 — On Sep 24, 2008

Do you need to get a W-9 for rebate payments to dealers that distribute your products?

By dudla — On Jul 21, 2008

Dhartleigh - I haven't heard about a Form P-1 and don't see anything like it on the IRS's website. If it is your practice to require a W-9 then you should seek that from your vendor. It is a common practice, and it's not asking for too much -- just the vendor's name, contact address, and tax payer id so that you may file the requisite tax files with the IRS come tax time.

SharonG - I don't think you have to request W-9s annually. Only if the information has changed. The form is simply used to get information from the vendor. If that information (tax id number, address, status as a US person) hasn't changed, then there isn't really any reason to get a new W-9 each year.

Gixxer1000 - If someone should have asked for a W-9 before doesn't preclude the fact they need one now. That your father hasn't filled one out before doesn't mean anything with respect to him filling one out now - he should.

By lxpa123 — On May 31, 2008

recently inherited some money. attorney for fiduciary company is sending me a w-9. WHY? and do i have to pay inheritance tax?

By anon11432 — On Apr 16, 2008

a nonprofit organization is going to pay my school's tuition but they told me to sign W-9 form. do i need to sign? how is it going to affect my yearly income?

By anon10492 — On Mar 28, 2008

Why do I need to fill out a w-9 for my Child's financial aid form?

By gixxer1000 — On Mar 19, 2008

my father runs a small business as a landscaper. one of his customers recently sent him a form w9 and said he needed it to complete his tax return, but in the past 5 years this is the first year he has sent my father a w9 to complete. should my father fill it out and mail it back to the customer?

By bigmetal — On Feb 15, 2008

W-9s are used to provide the company with the information they need to file 1099s for their independent contractors. They aren't filed to the IRS. I don't think you need to submit a new one each year. It's just a formal form to convey the information needed to fill out a 1099. You do need to submit a new one if the company changes names or if you change names, addresses, or other information included on the W-9.

By anon8482 — On Feb 14, 2008

Can someone please clarify with me if a W-9 needs to be requested on a annual basis?

By SharonG — On Feb 12, 2008

Do you have to collect W-9's yearly or once you have them you just keep them on file?

By anon7712 — On Feb 01, 2008

My husband has been told to sign a W-9 by his employer and they are holding his W-2 until it is done. We are not too sure about signing anything, because my husband is Not a Freelancer and has never been asked to do so before. Should he sign it or not??

By anon7708 — On Feb 01, 2008

My wife and I won a $1500 tv set from a radio show. The show had us complete a W9 form. Do I have to declare this in our taxes and should I be waiting for a 1099 from the radio show for the winnings?

By anon3019 — On Aug 06, 2007

When someone gets paid for a job, income taxes (which include Social Security) are generally taken out of each paycheck. When this happens you are really granting an interest free loan to the government - you are paying your taxes before they are really due.

At the end of the year, the accounts are balanced on both sides and the IRS sends you check for the amount you overpaid, or a bill for the amount you underpaid.

The w-9 simply means that you will be getting some income, but taxes won't be taken off the top. IT WILL THEREFORE BE UP TO YOU TO PAY THE TAXES IN FULL AT THE END OF THE YEAR (April 15).

w-9 does not make the taxes more or less than you'd usually pay. W-9 doesn't mean that you don't pay income tax, it just means that you're paying your taxes later. If your primary income is via 1099, you already know this, but it can be a bummer if you're not expecting it - I've frequently paid $6k in taxes in one lump sum in April, which scares people who think they've somehow dodged the tax man. If you have no witholding whatsoever, you risk "late fees" for doing this ($75 last time). On the other hand, you get to invest that money, and can often beat the late fees with investment income, which ironically gets taxed again... the best thing to do is to make a "tax account" and tax yourself at whatever rate you usually pay the IRS in April.

Signing the w-9 early does nothing, really. I guess you might be wary of giving someone your SSN, but chances are good they're just making sure they can process the paperwork to pay you in a timely manner - by itself the form doesn't authorize anything (except make them able to pay you!)

By anon2985 — On Aug 03, 2007

I have been asked to sign a W-9 form before agreeing on a contract that would specify what money I would receive for my services. This seems highly unusual to me. Am I right in feeling that the cart is being put before the horse? On many occasions in the past I have been given a contract to sign before a W-9 form was sent to me.

By anon2837 — On Jul 28, 2007

I referred a friend to my Apartment complex for which Leasing office will give me a referral money but they asked me to complete the W9 form.Can someone let me know how much the tax percentage will be for such.

By anon1325 — On May 25, 2007

What does this part mean ???

"Thus, those who freelance must be certain to withhold a portion of their income to avoid large and unwelcome taxes due at the end of a fiscal year. One filing a W-9 with one or more employers should make particularly sure to withhold monies for social security payments on their own."

By anon789 — On May 04, 2007

My husband has a life insurance policy we are cashing in. they are asking for a w-9 form from the irs. My question is do we get pentilized like you do if you take money from your 401k?

The form states you are taxed 28%.

Can you advise us what you would do with this.


By dhartleigh — On Apr 18, 2007

Can you explain why a person would not want to give a W-9 but sends a P-1 form instead. What is a P-1 form? Our company requires a W-9 from a new vendor that we purchase from and most comply.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia...
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