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What Is a W-9 Form 2021? – Covering the Basics

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 fillable 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.

When Are You Required to Complete Form W9 2021?

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. 
  • 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 or not, ask the sender 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 Is the Purpose of Form W-9 2021? – 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 receive a blank W9 form from companies that you did a job for. Fill it out, download W-9 form and send it to these organizations 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.  

What if Your Boss Sends You a W-9 Form?

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 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

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

  • 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);
  • enter your Taxpayer Identification Number;
  • indicate the date;
  • provide your signature.

What You Should Know About This Online W9 Form

Where can I get a free W-9 form?

There are two ways to get a free fillable PDF version of the W-9 form:

1. On the official website of the Internal Revenue Service.
2. On PDF editing platforms like PDFLiner.

How to save fillable W-9?

1. Double-check the correctness of data you entered;
2. Make sure that all the boxes on Page 1 of the form are filled;
3. Click the red Done button in the upper right corner of the form editor;
4. In the pop-up window, choose the needed option.

How do I download the W-9 tax form?

1. Fill the form if you want to download a complete version;
2. Click the red “Done” button in the upper right corner of the PDFLiner editor;
3. Click on PDF or JPG icons in the pop-up window. 

You can also print the form directly from the website if you want to fill it by hand and submit by mail. Still, it’s much easier to do it with the tools that we provide in the free form editor.

How to add a date in fillable W-9?

1. Search for W-9 on PDFLiner or simply open it here;
2. Scroll down to Part II of the form;
3. Click on the date box (highlighted with blue color);
4. Select the needed date from the pop-up calendar window.

How can I get a fillable W-9 form?

The latest version of this federal tax form is available on our website. We have a comprehensive database of tax forms and provide all the needed tools for filling and submitting them properly. You can also benefit from team collaboration features, helpful tips, document export, and unbreachable data encryption.

How to sign Form W-9 online?

Use PDFLiner to sign W-9 online. The procedure is quick and simple, and an e-signature is accepted by the IRS. Follow the next instructions:

  • Open the editor and go down to the end of the page. At the “Sign Field,” use the left click;
  • Push the “Add New Signature” button to create one;
  • Choose the method you like for signature creation. You can Draw, Capture, or Upload the signature if you already have one;
  • Add the signature and click the button “Sign”;
  • Once you make sure that everything is correct in the document, click the “Done” red button in the upper right corner of the form. Choose the most comfortable saving method for you.

What happens if you don't fill out a W-9?

If you don’t fill out this form, there will be a penalty. The form is requested by the employer or other person entitled to the taxpayer ID information. If you don’t fill it, you will have to pay $50. Another option is that you will become the backup withholding subject, and the payer will take 28 percent of your check.

Who needs to fill out a W-9?

The form is usually filled by freelancers, consultants, or independent contractors. It is completed only by self-employed workers. File the W-9 Form if you earned $600 or more per year without being hired permanently as an official employee. If your employer sends you this form and not W-4, the company considers you a freelancer.

Do independent contractors need to fill out a W-9?

Yes, this form must be filed by independent contractors who earn $600 or more per year. The client needs to receive a W-9 Form from the contractor before paying. While not everyone follows that rule, the form is still required by clients and the IRS. It must be done by the end of the tax year.

What does a W-9 form look like?

This form is 6 pages long. Yet, 5 pages of this form are instructions for you and recipients. You have to provide the information on the first page only. You should fill in your name, business, tax classification you pay, and exemptions if any. There must be your address and the name of the requester as well. Include your SSN and EIN, sign the document, and put the date.

When am I exempt from filling out a W-9?

There are several exemptions. Yet, there is a chance that you may leave the boxes blank. Here they are:

  • You have to enter the code in the “Exempt payee code” box if you exempt from backup withholding;
  • You have to enter the code in the “Exemption from FATCA reporting code” box if you are a payee that is exempted from the reporting by the FATCA act.

How to print a W-9 form?

  • Fill out the form with PDFLiner;
  • Click the Done button in the upper right corner;
  • Choose the Print option;
  • Pick a destination printer;
  • Click the Print button.

Hear What PDFLiner Users Have to Say & Join Them Today

  • Mildred Donovan
    I’m happy there’s no need to search for the forms I need anywhere else since PDFLiner has all possible tax forms. I often use this editor for work, and I find it especially helpful to pre-fill a blank W-9 form and send it to contractors. Now I can get their signature and TIN in just a few minutes. I’ve also filled out other forms on PDFLiner for my personal needs, and I’m completely satisfied with the service.
  • Daniel Babcock
    Self-Employed Designer
    As a freelancer, I'm frequently requested to fill out a printable W-9 form. It would take too much time to complete the PDF form manually. Luckily, PDFLiner provides the option to save the W-9 form in my account. Now I can download and send a completed document any time I need it. Thank you, developers, for a convenient tool!
  • Grace Donaldson
    Tax Consultant
    Working with clients requires paying precise attention to details, especially if they should fill out the form correctly, and you’re the one who consults them. The PDFLiner editor has become a life-saver for me. I can leave marks and comments in the fillable W-9 form so that people can see where there is a mistake and what exactly they should correct. Now I can’t imagine my work without PDFLiner.
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