Form W-9

Form W-9 is a tax form that employers use to confirm the name, address, and taxpayer identification number (TIN) of an individual that they will pay, but who is not classified as an “employee” at the company. It is also known as the Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification form. An individual must typically complete the form prior to receiving their first payment from the company. The employing company then submits the form to the IRS. Later, the information contained within a Form W-9 will be used to generate the individual’s 1099 tax form, which will be used in filing individual income taxes.

Frequently asked questions

Who must a Form W-9 be collected for?

If a business needs to pay any entity that is not considered to be an employee at the company, a Form W-9 must typically be submitted. This most commonly applies to independent contractors, consultants, freelancers, and other vendors. As a general rule of thumb, a business is required to collect a Form W-9 for anyone they pay more than $600 in a year (without that person being an employee).

Identity verification and Form W-9

A favored tactic among fraudsters is using a stolen Social Security number to submit a Form W-9. Doing so can help them evade taxes, pushing the tax burden onto an unsuspecting taxpayer while still getting paid. A thorough identity verification program that includes Social Security number verification can help a business avoid such a scenario by ensuring that the information an individual submits on their Form W-9 is accurate.

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