Form W 9 instructions

One of the most frequently asked questions by freelancers and vendors are considered to be about W-9 form. Both of the sides are interested where to get form W 9 instructions whether it’s mandatory to fill it, what are the requirements and considerations?

What is the W9: step-by-step instructions

Full name of W-9 is “Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification” considered to be one of the top requested IRS forms that are printed. Actually, it is not sent to the IRS directly, but maintained via individual who conducts the information return in case of verification purpose.

If freelancer has an income for more than $600 in a year received from an entrepreneur, 1099-MISC form is used to verify public servant’s income to the IRS. Freelancer must provide a valid tax bearer identification number to the payer so this data and the payment are reported in 1099 documents.

Obligatory information that needs to be filled includes name, address, business entity type and taxpayer identification data (Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number).

There are four user cases:

  • Tax leakage obviation


  • Between Business and vendor
  • Employer and employee
  • Financial institution and client

The best practice considers filling out W-9 document before requesting any payments from the employer providing protection measures. Otherwise, the $50 penalty is withdrawn in each case.

Important fill-out steps

Before getting a printable W 9 you can review the electronic version.

Check whether you know all the information that needs to be completed. For instance, taxpayer’s identifying number. If vendor states wrong information and sign the document – there’s a possibility of facing the crimination.

Electronic version has to be verified for correspondence with printable one, IRS hard copy supplement and document material and the electronic signature. Signed acknowledgement does not have to be witnessed.

Whenever completing online or printable W-9 “Exempt Payee” box requires extra attention – if organization backup withholding required – box should not be checked.

Last but not least – in case of receiving unexpected request – extra attention required. Some financial institutions request data from a customer when there’s a need for dividends or interest.