How to fill out a W-9 form

In most cases you’ll have to fill out a W-9 if you’re an independent contractor or a freelancer. Your customers will require it to get the information for their own 1099-MISC form. However, you might be asked to fill the W-9 one when deal with secure property, debt cancellation, specific real estate transactions or mortgage interest payments.

Among all the forms of that kind it’s probably the easiest to fill out a W-9 form, you even mustn’t search How to articles. The whole space you’ll use is divided into three sections. Each one contains blank areas to fill your info and some basic instructions.

Personal data section in blank W9

It’s the one, which is situated just under the title. The starting point here is your name. You should type it exactly as it is in your income tax return. The next step is to enter the business name. Note that you’ll need that only when it’s different from the one in previous part. In the third area you only have to choose the appropriate business entity (sole proprietorship in most cases).

When you reach the fourth step, just omit it, unless you have an exemption code. It’s not for individuals. The fifth and the sixth steps require your address, including street, city, state and ZIP code. At last, there are two optional areas to fill account numbers (in some cases your employer might need them) and the requester’s name.

Part I and Part II sections

Both parts will ask only little information from you. The first one has a special area to enter the Taxpayer identification number. For individuals it’s basically their Social security number. For some other entities it might be Employer identification number.

When done with the whole thing above, go to the “Certification” area. Here is the section that you definitely have to read. It’s about being “US person”, correct info, backup withholding and FATCA codes. In general, you just state that all the entered data is correct and you take responsibility for this fact.

When everything is finished, sign the W-9 form and send it to the requester. Use only safe channels to deliver it, it’s your personal data after all.