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We are going to cover what a Form W9 is, what the form is used for, and how to fill one out!

 

Before we get started, I want to first differentiate between the two parties involved in a W9 form:

Requester
The one requesting a completed W9 form

Submitter
The one submitting a completed form to the requester

So What Is It?

A W9 form is used to verify the submitter’s tax information so a 1099 can be filed by the requester on the submitter’s behalf. You can download one from the IRS here

But Why?

A W9 is basically a certification that yes, this is my tax info, you can use it to tell the IRS that you paid me money, and yes, it will be reported on my taxes (this is the TLDR). 

It’s possible to give the requester any tax info needed to file the 1099 without actually filling out a W9, but that’s not what the IRS requires. As a requester, you’re required to collect and retain W9 forms. I know it can be super annoying to have to get a W9 from everyone you work with – but if there’s ever a time and a place to follow the rules and do shit right, it’s when dealing with the IRS. 

I suggest collecting a W9 upfront before making any payments. Even though the threshold is generally $600 for issuing a 1099-Misc, it’s better to collect them as you go than to track people down around the holidays to fill out a tax form (no one wants to do this).

What If The Submitter Refuses to Give Me a W9?

You are required to make 3 attempts to collect the W9 (document your attempts) to avoid penalties. You can still issue a 1099 for this person/business, with “Refused to Provide” in the SSN/EIN section of the form.

Cool, So How Do I Fill One Out?

Ah, I never thought you’d ask! 🙂 There are both videos and a step-by-step breakdown of each section and how it applies to every type of situation below. Enjoy!

 

How to Complete a W9 if You’re an Individual or Sole Proprietor with either a SSN, ITIN, or EIN

This video will help you fill out the W9 if you are an individual or sole proprietor (no DBA or LLC or Corp. or anything) – you can have either a SSN, ITIN, or EIN.

If you are a sole proprietor and you do not have an EIN, I highly recommend getting one. You do not need an LLC or a Corporation to file for an EIN. Using an EIN instead of your SSN on documents like this reduces the risk for identity theft.

 

 

How to Complete a W9 if You’re an Individual or Sole Proprietor with a DBA and a SSN, ITIN, or EIN

This video will help you fill out the W9 if you are an individual or sole proprietor with DBA – you can have either a SSN, ITIN, or EIN.

If you are a sole proprietor and you do not have an EIN, I highly recommend getting one. You do not need an LLC or a Corporation to file for an EIN. Using an EIN instead of your SSN on documents like this reduces the risk for identity theft.

 

 

How to Complete a W9 if you have an LLC or Corporation

This video will help you fill out the W9 if you have an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or Corporation. It covers Single Member LLCs, Multi-Member LLCs, LLCs that are taxed as C-Corporations, S-Corporations, and finally corporations that are taxed as either C or S-Corps. It’s thrilling.

 


 

Breaking Down the Sections
If you’d rather read than watch, I’ve broken down each section below and explained how you will fill it out based on your specific situation. Enjoy!
Section 1 – Name

+ Individual – Enter your legal name

+ Individual with a DBA (but no LLC) – Enter your legal name

+ LLC with only one member, not taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter your legal name

+ LLC with more than one member – Enter the LLC’s name

+ LLC taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter the LLC’s name

+ Corporation taxed as either a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter the corporation’s name

Section 2 – Business Name / Disregarded Entity Name, If Different from Section 1

+ Individual – Leave blank

+ Individual with a DBA (but no LLC) – Enter your DBA’s name

+ LLC with only one member, not taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter your LLC’s name

+ LLC with more than one member – Leave blank, unless your LLC also has a DBA, then you’d put the DBA’s name here

+ LLC taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Leave blank, unless your LLC also has a DBA, then you’d put the DBA’s name here

+ Corporation taxed as either a C-Corp or S-Corp – Leave blank, unless your corporation also has a DBA, then you’d put the DBA’s name here

Section 3 – Federal Tax Classification

+ Individual – Check “Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC”

+ Individual with a DBA (but no LLC) – Check “Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC”

+ LLC with only one member, not taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Check “Individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC”

+ LLC with more than one member – Check “Limited liability company” and enter a “P” for Partnership

+ LLC taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Check “Limited liability company” and enter a “C” for C-Corp or “S” for S-Corp

+ Corporation taxed as either a C-Corp or S-Corp – Check “C Corporation” for C-Corp or “S Corporation” for S-Corp

Section 4 – Exemptions

This section is beyond the topic for this blog post. You likely won’t need to fill it out, so I’m not even going to get into it – I’ll spare you.

Sections 5 + 6 – Address

Easy – enter your address!

Section 7 – Account Numbers

This section is optional and you’ll likely just leave it blank. If there is an account number associated with the reason why you are filling out the W9, you can enter it here.

Requester’s Name and Address

This section is optional and you’ll likely just leave it blank. You can enter in the requester’s name and address onto the form, if you wish.

Part I – Taxpayer Identification Number

TIN stands for Taxpayer Identification Number. It’s an all-encompassing way of saying SSN (social security number) or EIN (employer identification number) or ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number).

On the form, there are only 2 sections – SSN or EIN. If you have an ITIN, you will enter that in the space provided for SSN.

+ Individual – Enter your SSN or ITIN

+ Individual / Sole Proprietor with an EIN – Enter your EIN

+ Individual with a DBA (but no LLC) – Enter your SSN or ITIN unless you have an EIN, you’d enter the EIN

+ LLC with only one member, not taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter your EIN

+ LLC with more than one member – Enter your EIN

+ LLC taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter your EIN

+ Corporation taxed as either a C-Corp or S-Corp – Enter your EIN

Part II – Certification

Just sign and date.

 

The Next Steps

If all this nonsense makes your head spin, reach out to us. We love it!


 

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