W-9 form instructions for independent contractors

W-9 is a vendor information form, which is used to deliver important taxation data to the employer. The document includes several pages with the fields to fill in, certifications and general instructions. It was developed by the IRS bureau of the Department of Treasury.

Who has to submit W-9?

In most cases you’ll be asked to fill the form if you worked as in dependent contractor and received $600 or more from a certain employer during the tax year. Sometimes you can get a request from financial institutions that pay you dividends, interests or any other type of income. At last, the document might be required for transactions in the real estate sphere.

W-9 purpose is to collect info about vendors so that IRS can control the taxation process. You need to submit it only if you work independently. You don’t have to furnish the document to requester, in case you work as employee, cause you’ll use W-4 instead. Beware of employers who try to reduce their taxes this way.

What information is required?

You can download IRS W-9 on the bureau’s official website. When you’ll open it, you’ll see a document, which consists of 3 sections. The first one includes several fields to fill out. They’re:

  • name;
  • business name;
  • entity type;
  • exemptions;
  • address;
  • city and ZIP code;
  • account numbers list;
  • requester’s info.

The second section is called “Part I”. Here you should give your SSN or TIN. The last part includes certifications and instructions. Before you download the document, make sure it’s the latest version that includes all the current tax legislation changes.

How to Submit an IRS W-9 Tax Form (step-by-step instruction)

The following spreadsheet will be your guide that will make the whole process easy and fast.

Step number What to do? How to do that?
1. Get W-9 blank Download a printable or online editable version on IRS website. Also, employers often provide independent contractors with a blank, attaching it to their request email.
2. Fill all the fields required Make sure the info is correct. Check whether you’re exempt from backup withholding before choosing any variant in field №4.
3. Sign the form Place a standard signature on printable version or use electronic signature for online editable form.
4. Send the document to the requester Use only secure channels do deliver it back, no matter you use email or post service. Also, don’t file it to IRS.