Three main differences between W-2 and W-9

W-2 and W-9 both are used to report about a year’s revenue of a taxpayer to the IRS. However, these forms are completely different and each of them is designated for a specific purpose.

Purpose of the W-2 and W-9 forms

Form W-2 – this document is used to report about the wage/salary income of a tax reporter, and also about his/her amount of medicare, state andfederal taxes.
Form W-9 – this document is used to calculate the payroll of the tax reporterand determine the amount of taxes withholds.

What information do both of the forms contain

W-2 contains the following data: tax reporter’s name and address, information about wages and tips, tax withholds, and also employer’s details- EIN, full company/person name and address.
W-9 contains the following data: name, business name and address of thetax reporter, type of business entity, his/her TIN, SSN or EIN.

H3 Who is obliged to fulfill W-2 and W-9 documents

Independent contractors (freelancers, sole proprietors, etc.) haveto use W-9 form. Employees (i.e. workers employed by a company on salaryor wages) have to use W-2 form.
In other words, W-9 is for self-employed specialists and W-2 is forspecialists, employed by a company or a person.

Tip and hints for the tax reporters

Fillable W-2 blank is sent by the employer, however, you can also find it on the IRS website; fillable W-9 blank can be found online. Bothblanks can be filled online or in print format.
Important: both W-2 and W-9 have to be filled and sent to a specific date. Make sure that you have enough time to fulfill and send your form to theemployer (W-9) or IRS (W-2) before the deadline.

Tax reporters who do notsend the documents on time can be the subjects to monetary penalty. Don’t forget to check carefully filled document; revision is necessary to make sure that all data is correct. You won’t be able to add or change something after you send the blank to the IRS/employer.

The copies of filled W-2 blanks are kept by the employer during 3 years. The employer is obliged to provide the employee with W-2 copies by request. As for W-9, independent contractor is responsible for making and keeping the copies; it’s not obligatory, but strongly recommended.