How To Fill Out Form W-9: Step-Wise Instructions

A step-wise guide to help you fill out Form W-9 easily.

As businesses accelerate their vendor onboarding processes, they need to verify the tax details of the vendors. Taxpayer identification number or TIN, along with the name of the vendor, business address, and other information is requested through Form W-9.

Vendors or payees must provide the most accurate information in this form to avoid reporting inconsistencies and ensure business-contractor compliance.

When payees receive a Form W-9, they might be a bit unsure about what should go where. While Form W-9 is a pretty simple form with no complex fields that require brainstorming, a vendor who may be just venturing into the business world could definitely leverage the W-9 Form instructions to fill out the form with no errors. 

The following will discuss how to fill out Form W-9 easily with simple instructions. 

TIN Validation

Before the vendor starts filling out the Form W-9, it is essential to verify the taxpayer identification number assigned to them by the IRS. If you do not have a TIN, you could furnish your social security number. The most important aspect here is to provide the information per the IRS records. 

Now, how would you do that?

A simple TIN Lookup or TIN Match will help you verify your TIN or SSN per the official records. All you have to do is go to the IRS TIN Match page and log in to access your IRS dashboard. Then, go to the TIN Match application and enter your TIN and name. You will be able to see the results in a few minutes. 

If you’re a paid preparer, filing a W-9 on behalf of your client, then Tax1099’s TIN Match program will help you further accelerate the process. Verify 100,000+ TINs and get results within seconds.

If the provided details match the IRS database, then it’s a TIN Match. If not, it’s a TIN Mismatch. In such a case, you have to follow up with the IRS to get a valid TIN. 

Specific Instructions To Fill Out Form W-9

Here is the latest revised IRS Form W-9. Make sure to check that you are receiving the most recent, revised version of the W-9 Form. 

Line 1 to Line 7: Business Details 

Let’s discuss line-by-line details of Form W-9.

Line 1: Name

Enter the name of the payee (vendor, contractor, freelancer, etc) to whom the payment was made or is yet to be made. The name of the individual must be the same in W-9 and the tax returns. This field cannot be left blank as the form would be deemed invalid without the name. 

Line 2: Business Name

Enter the name of the business or Doing Business As (DBA) name in this field. This could be the same as the name in Line 1 if you do not have a separate entity through which you’re operating your business. If you do have a business entity, be sure to use the registered name of your entity.

Line 3: Federal Tax Classification

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Form W-9

Select any one of the available federal tax classifications that best applies to your business type.

Line 4: Tax Exemption

Typically, self-employed individuals and entities are not exempt from backup withholding. But if you or your entity is not subject to any backup withholding or exempt from FATCA reporting then you must report the exemption code in this field. 

Line 5 & 6: Address

Enter the mailing address in Line 5 so that the payer or the requester can mail you the copies of the information returns. The address must include your door number, street name, and other details. Line 6 must include the city, state, and zip code.

Line 7: List Account Numbers 

The payees can also specify the bank accounts or other vendor accounts in this field for informational purposes. However, this step is optional.

Part I: Taxpayer Identification Number

Enter the validated taxpayer identification number in the SSN or EIN field. Individuals must use the SSN field box, while entities must provide EIN (Employer Identification Number) in the EIN field box. 

The individual or entity’s name associated with the TIN must be the same as the name specified in Line 1.

Part II: Certification

Read the certification instructions in this section carefully and strike out the use cases that do not apply to you. This is where the payee is certifying that the provided information is accurate per their best knowledge and research. 

The signature and date boxes must be filled appropriately, which would conclude the W-9 form filling process. 

For detailed instructions on Form W-9 from the IRS click here.

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