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Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

Form W-9 is used to request that someone provide a valid tax identification number. There are two situations in which a small business owner would use this form.

First, if you, as a small business owner, pay a non-employee more than $600, you must issue a Form 1099 reporting the payment. In order to correctly complete the 1099 form, you must know the recipient's tax identification number. You would use Form W-9 to request the TIN. If the person you pay is a foreign person, Form W-8 would be used instead of Form W-9.

Second, if you receive more than $600 from someone else, the payor will use Form W-9 to request your TIN. If you don't have a TIN, you must request one. For individuals, the request is made using Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The form is available at the Social Security Administration's website. If you aren't eligible for a Social Security card, you would use Form W-7, Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to apply for an ITIN, or Form SS-4, Application for an Employer Identification Number.

By completing Form W-9, you do the following:

  • certify that the TIN you have provided is correct
  • certify that you are not subject to backup withholding
  • claim exemption from backup withholding

In general, for an individual, the TIN is the Social Security number. For other entities, it is the Employer Identification Number (EIN).

File Description:
The file is in Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf), and you will need the free Acrobat Reader to view and print the file.

Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

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