If you are working independently, W-9 form is a tax requirement. A W-9 form is an internal revenue service (IRS) form, which is used to register you as a taxpayer. It is issued by companies to independent workers, consultants and freelancers. As a self-employed person you are required to fill this form.
It is a self-certification of the fact that the tax identification provided by you to the company you are working for is correct. In the form you are required to certify that you are not subject to back up withholding. Federal income tax has special provision for withholding payment for interest, dividends, royalty, rent or payments from fishing boat operators or stock brokers. However the US citizens and residents who have declared their tax identification and people not notified by Internal Revenue Service are exempt from it.
W-9 form requires careful filling before signing as it is a document IRS uses to certify you as a legitimate taxpayer. Here are a few tips to fill the form easily.
Name Field: First fill out your name. The name should match with the name on your tax returns. Being careful will ensure that there is no mismatch.
Business Name Field: In the next column, you need to fill out your business name. It will be the name of your company, you have registered which may be sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or an S-corporation. If you are using your personal name for the business as in case of freelancers, write your own name.
Business Type Box: Check the box signifying the type of business entity. If you are working alone check sole proprietorship box.
Exemption Boxes: Next are the exemption boxes. In most cases it has to be left blank. These boxes do not apply to consultants or freelancers. You need to pay attention only if you are registered as a corporation.
Address Field: Write down your full address here complete with ZIP code. The address should match the one on your tax return.
The requester field: Write the name of company who has requested you to fill out the form. Include address and telephone number.
The tax identification number: Here you have to fill out the TIN(Tax identification number) which may be your SSN ( Social Security number) if you are a sole proprietor or EIN(Employer identification number) if you are not a sole-proprietor.
Declaration: The declaration is that the information filled by you is correct. In case of furnishing wrong information you will liable to perjury. Sign after carefully reading the declaration.
After filling the form send it to your employer. The best way is to personally deposit it, but in this digital age e-mail is the preferred choice. So, make sure to encrypt the form before sending to avoid data theft.