W-9 form instructions: certifications

W-9 request for taxpayer identification number and certification 2020 is used by IRS to control freelancers’, vendor’s and independent contractors’ taxation. Though, you might also get a request if you receive interest or other income from financial institutions, inherit property, open a bank account etc. Note that the document applies only to US persons, including residents alien. If you’re not one, but you get payments from US companies, use W8-BEN instead.

One of the most important parts in the whole form W9 is Certifications. This guide will help you to complete this part right so that you don’t make a mistake and become a subject for IRS penalties.

What is W-9 tax certification

By signing the blank you state that your TIN is entered correctly, you’re not a subject to backup withholding, you’re US person and FATCA codes are entered correctly. Still, there are some situations when several points won’t apply to you or you won’t have to sign the form. Let’s look through all the possible options:

  1. In most cases you have to do nothing but sign the blank.
  2. Cross out line 2 and put a signature, in case you’re a subject to backup withholding.
  3. Item 2 doesn’t apply to real estate transaction. Sign the document.
  4. For most “Other payments” (not interest or dividends) you just have to give a correct TIN. A signature isn’t required.
  5. For interest, barter exchange and dividend accounts, that were opened before the year 1984 only TIN is required. You don’t need to certify the document.
  6. For interest, barter exchange and dividend accounts, that were opened after the year 1983 a signature should be put in the appropriate line.
  7. For mortgage interest paid by you, canceled debt, pension distribution and other transactions you don’t have to sign the blank.

Always make sure whether you have to certify the document. If you don’t put a signature when required, you may become a subject for backup withholding.

Usually, the requester will provide you with it. If not, you can download the newest version on IRS website. Note that some companies may use a substitute for W-9. It can look a bit different, but all the essential parts will always be there, including TIN and Certifications. Make sure the file you’re downloading is really the latest version of the blank.

What meaning fillable W-9 blank?

The first thing to know is that you don’t have to send it to IRS. The recipient is the requester, who asked you to complete the blank. If you complete W-9 tax certification form printable, use post service or hand-to-hand delivery to file it. If it’s a fillable online version, send it via secure email program or special web services.