By Roger Chartier

Why Use A W-9 Form

The request for taxpayer Identification form (W-9) is used when...

You engage yourself with a business relationship or hire someone who is a US citizen or legal resident and who is an independent contractor. Then you should get an IRS W-9 Form filled out by them - It is a request for the social security number or taxpayer identification number and certification of someone employed or paid for services etc. in the USA.

The IRS is concerned If you're paying a vendor or you are an an employer. If you hired someone who is in a free lance or who is in a self employed situation, or engage in business with that type of person then you will need a W-9 form filled out by them.

This is good for all people whom you pay for services etc.

At the end of the year, if they had earned more than $600.00 from you, you would send them a 1099 form showing the amount paid to them for them to use in filing their taxes. This could also be used for you to keep information handy for when you send a W2 form, as well.

Keep it for your records as it does not need to go to the government unless there is an audit etc.
It will include their social-security number or their taxpayer ID number and certification.

The person who got paid otherwise referred to as the payee or the signer has to sign the form.

The signature certifies that the info on the form is correct. It also assures that the signor is a US citizen or resident alien or some other person from the US. They also could be the representative of a corporation, a company, or a partnership.

$50.00 Fine

That is the fine each time that you refuse to fill out the W-9 form if it is required by the person who pays you the money or a partner etc. If you are requested to fill out a W-9 by someone who is paying you for work, etc. you should do it right away.

If you have received a W-9 from someone who you are paying for vending or a job of work and you misuse the information on the form you can be subject to civil and criminal penalties or fines.

You may also be subject to backup withholding, which means the payer might withhold 28 percent of your check and forward the proceeds to the IRS but only if  you are subject to backup withholding.

$500.00 fine

If you submit false information on a W-9 form you can be prosecuted for criminal behavior and imprisoned. If you create a statement that is not true and gets you into a "no backup withholding situation", and you are not exempt from the backup withholding requirement, the $500.00 penalty can kick in each time.

The W-7 Form

The W-7 form Is used for individuals who are not eligible for a social security number but have become U.S. residents for tax purposes. 
Here are some W-7 instructions for it's use.

The W-8 Form

The W-8 form is for foreign entities or individuals.
See the page linked above for info about the W-8 Form.

Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding

Here you can print a free IRS W-8 form. This is a partial overview of the form requirements and instructions for the user and for the requester.

  1. Download the Form W-8BEN

  2. DownloadInstructions for the W-8BEN

  3. Download the Instructions for the Requester of the Form W-8BEN

See the W8 Page for much more information.

Why We Exist

We want you to be more informed.

A lot of folks panic when they are asked to fill out a W9 form.

My first episode with one left me with a feeling of confusion because I did not read the instructions to be sure of what I was doing.

I just had at it without reading anything and it was overwhelming - never again.
Take a little time to read the instructions and it is very simple to deal with.

Now when I fill one out I simply do it in about a minute.
It gets very simple to deal with these and if you do them often enough it is a breeze!