When do you have to ask for W-9?

The best way to ensure you’ll have all the data in time is to ask your vendors to fill the form when the initial contract is being signed. In case the contact is ongoing, you’d better make a request as soon as you’ll be asked to fill 1099-MISC by IRS.

When you’ll write a letter to your independent contractor, try to explain why do you need all the info and ask them to reply as soon as possible. It’ll also be wise to supply the vendor with fillable blank and provide him with form W-9 requester’s name.

Electronic submission and W-9 substitutes

You can set up a system that allows your vendors to fill the form online. It’ll make the whole process faster. Moreover, it’ll be way easier to communicate with independent contractors. Just make sure that:

  • electronic signature is used;
  • the access is given to the right person;
  • information channels are secure;
  • web version collects the same info as paper one;
  • you can supply IRS with a hard copy of electronically submitted document.

There is also a possibility to develop your own W-9 substitute, which will be the most convenient to use. Still, there are several requirements you have to meet. First, the content has to be similar to the one in conventional document. Second, it has to collect all the essential data. At last, the certifications on the form must clearly state that the payee is a U.S. person, the FACTA code and TIN are correct and the vendor is not a subject to backup withholding.