What does a W-9 look like?

W-9 is an official document that has 6 pages with fields to complete and instructions. It was developed by Internal Revenue Service with the purpose to control how self-employed individuals and businesses that provide services pay taxes they owe. Let’s find out what is a W-9 form and how to fill it.

How does a completed W-9 look like?

The document itself doesn’t include any information about payments. It only collects data that is essential to issue one of 1099 forms, which report how much you were paid. A completed 2020 blank should contain such information:

  • legal name;
  • business name (optional);
  • entity type;
  • exemption codes (if any);
  • full address;
  • TIN.

In the line Taxpayer Identification Number you have to enter whether your SSN or EIN depending on entity type. For individuals it’s usually Social Security Number. Some entities that may have both types, like sole proprietors, can use the one they prefer.

You can get the latest current blank on our website. Just download a PDF and fill it electronically with e-signature.

Where to send the document?

Don’t file it to IRS. The recipient is the requester, who asked you to fill the blank to get all the data needed for the appropriate 1099. You can file the paper electronically using email or deliver a hard copy hand-to-hand or via snail mail. At the time of COVID-19 pandemic it’s highly recommended sending it digitally. Just make sure you use a protected email or web delivery service.

Every time any crucial data changes, you’ll have to send a new paper. It includes such cases as altering entity type, getting other TIN, changing legal name etc.