Printable blank Form W9

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What Is a W9 Form? – Covering the Basics

Starting a new job always implies filling out lots of papers, that’s a fact. However, when you’re a freelancer, income taxes are reported in a slightly different manner, meaning that now it’s your sole duty. As a self-employed individual, you will have to independently stay informed about the tax regulations, comply with the IRS deadlines, keep your financial obligations on track, and, therefore, report your income perfectly on time. 

In addition to this, business entities that order your services have to report that income, as well. That’s where the simple and straightforward single-page W-9 form comes into play. The purpose of form W-9 is very clear: it serves to provide your US tax ID (also referred to as Taxpayer Identification Number) to an individual, a bank, or any other financial entity, granting them the possibility to report specific details about you, e.g., money you’ve earned from them, certain real estate payment data, interest, and the like.

What Is the Purpose of Form W-9? – Laying It All Out

Form W-9 is used for providing certain entities (not the Internal Revenue Service) with the data they require. Typically, you send the form to these institutions so that they can reply with Form 1099, which you will then send to the IRS if a company paid you over $600 within a year. 

Because you’re not submitting the W-9 form to the IRS, always be cautious as to the recipient that’s going to access your sensitive data. Below, you will find out what else you need to watch out for when sorting out the form. Don’t forget that here you can download form W9 for free, as well as access a multitude of other fillable PDF blank files to print or fill out online.  

When Are You Required to Complete Form W-9?

You might have to complete this form if:

  • You’re self-employed and intend to receive over $600 from one individual or company within the current tax year. 
  • Someone you owe money decides to forgive your debt. In this case, you have to send them form W-9 to get the procedure going. 
  • You register with a new bank, and they need you to provide the W-9 form.
  • You deposit money into a bank account or invest in another financial entity, and they require you to provide the W-9 form. 

Avoid Sending Someone a W-9 if:

  • they’re not a customer;
  • they’re not from your bank;
  • they’re not from any entity your financial affairs are related to.

The thing is, sending your personal data (such as your Social Security Number) to someone unknown and, therefore, unreliable is risky. Scammers may send you W-9s to trick you into revealing your SSN. Therefore, if you’re on the fence about whether you should fill out a W-9 someone has sent you or not, ask them which tax forms they intend to return to you once you complete it. Do they refuse to give you that information? Discuss it with a tax specialist first. Better safe than sorry. 

What if Your Boss Sends You a W-9?

It’s vital to note that your boss shouldn’t make you complete this document, either. The proper doc to send to your boss is W-4. If you’re starting an office nine-to-five job and your boss wants you to provide a W-9 in lieu of a W-4, that might mean they’re officially treating you as a freelancer rather than a full-time worker. Make sure you’re aware of that when starting a new job.

How to Fill Out a W-9 Form? – Easy Steps to Follow

Form W-9 consists of one page only. In addition to this, it also features a 5-page instruction manual. Feel free to download the W-9 form from the IRS site or fill it out here, with PDFLiner.

To sort out the document, just follow these easy steps:

  • type your name;
  • if you work under a different name, type that name as well;
  • indicate the type of business you own;
  • type your full address and phone number(s);
  • indicate the date;
  • provide your signature.

How Should I Submit Form W-9?

Submitting the form is a cakewalk. Just send the completed file to the individual or business/financial entity that requests it. In the majority of cases, they will save the filled out form in their records until they need it during their annual tax record processing.

IRS Form W-9 Resources

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