What is a W-9?
What is a W-9?
A W-9 is an official form provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. This form is usually given to you by someone who plans to pay you, such as an employer or a company you're doing freelance work for. It asks for information like your name, address, and Social Security number or Employer Identification Number. The person who pays you uses this information to fill out certain kinds of tax forms, like a 1099, proving they’ve paid you throughout the year.
3 things to know about a W-9
1. It's Not a Tax Return: Even though the W-9 form is provided by the IRS, it's not a tax return. It's essentially a way to provide your Social Security number or Employer Identification Number to someone who needs to report to the IRS that they've paid you money.
2. Not Everyone Needs a W-9: The W-9 form is typically given to independent contractors, freelancers, or entities receiving certain types of income. Regular employees (who receive W-2s at the end of the year from their employers) typically do not need to fill out a W-9.
3. W-9s and Identity Theft: Because W-9s require your sensitive information like your Social Security number, it's important to make sure you only provide this form to trustworthy and legitimate payers. Incorrect handling of a W-9 could lead to identity theft. Always make sure to carefully verify who's asking for the form and why they need it.
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