What is a W9 Form?
The purpose of form W9 is to provide your US tax ID, aka TIN: Taxpayer Identification Number, to the person, including a financial institution, who needs to report certain information about you, such as income paid to you, contributions to IRAs made by you, interest, dividends and capital gains earned by you, certain real estate transactions entered into by you, the balance of certain foreign financial accounts, etc. to the IRS. The tax ID of US individuals is either the SSN - Social Security Number (in most cases) or the ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) in some situations. The tax ID of US entities is the FEIN – Federal Employer Identification Number, sometimes also referred simply as EIN. 1.
Who must complete a W9 Form?
Form W9 must be completed by US persons: US citizen or green card holder individuals, individuals who are treated as residents for US tax purposes either because they live in the US, work there, or are married to a US individual and elected to be taxed as one; and entities such as corporations, LLCs, estates, and trusts created or organized under US law.
Why am I being asked to send a W9?
Any US business making payments to you may request that you complete this form. These payments could be for services provided by you to the business as an independent contractor
What happens if I’m asked to complete Form W9 and I’m not from the USA?
Form W9 is intended for US residents. The equivalent form that applies to non-US persons is W8-BEN (for individuals) and W8-BEN-E (for entities).
You can find these three forms here: