A W9 is a relatively simple form that does not require you to provide a whole lot of personal information. You can find a free blank to file out on your own if you go to the official IRS website. Here is the link that will lead you directly to it. The PDF file is not an interactive W9, but you won’t have any trouble filling it out since a detailed instruction is attached to the PDF.
Sending the file out
You will need to send out a filled out form containing all necessary business information including your name, entity tax class, exemptions, address, and necessary ID’s such as EIN and TIN. In general, this information is already public, so you don’t have to worry about exposing your personal data to the world.
Possible legal issues
While there nothing complex about filling out the form, failing to comply with the request to send it can and, in many cases, will be punished by law. Here are some of the possible punishments if an independent contractor refuses to provide W9 forms upon receiving a request.
|$50 fine||Applied in all cases of failure|
|$500 fine||Applied by the IRS if the process is forwarded to them|
|Withholding up to 28% of the check||Your employer can withhold funds if they do not receive the required data in time|