The W9 Form: A quick review

W-9 Form

This post was updated in April 2018

What is the W-9?  

Individuals and entities use this form to provide their taxpayer identification number to entities that will pay them income during the tax year. Whether you’re a freelancer, contractor or part of the sharing economy, Form W-9 should be familiar to you. This form has to be completed before being legally contracted either by an employer or a company. Filling out a W-9 used to be extremely time consuming and frustrating since it required printing and faxing. However, you can now get around these hassles, fill out and submit form W-9 Online.


What happens with the W-9?

Your employer uses your W-9 for payroll purposes but doesn’t send the form to the Internal Revenue Service. Instead, they use the information to prepare employee paychecks during the year and W-2 forms at the end of the year.  The deadline for submitting the W-2 is coming right up – January 31st, 2018!


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How do I complete the W-9?

You’ll need to enter your full name as shown on your federal income tax return on the first line. If you are operating a business under a separate name, you should enter that on the second line. In the next section, you select your tax classification. After you complete the mailing address section, you’ll need to enter your taxpayer identification number, or TIN. And if you’re running your own business and you have an employer identification number, you should enter that number next to the EIN field.  Voila – you are done!

The final step is putting your signature on the document. Yes, you can sign it even without a pen. There are several ways to do this. It can be drawn with your finger/stylus on a touchscreen device, with a mouse, captured with a webcam, uploaded or even typed in. Choose whichever one you’d like.

For step-by-step instructions on how to use a W-9 form, check out the video below.  You can also try out our W9Form iOS application which makes filling and submitting the W9 form go faster than you can say “Oh my gosh, it’s free!”