What is W-9 purpose and why should you fill it?

The Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification is supposed to filled by self-employed individuals and organizations that provide services. So, W9 tax form purpose is to control that all such businesses honestly pay taxes they owe.

The document doesn’t ask you for any information about payments. W-9 purpose is to collect crucial data that is required to report the payments to you via other forms.

Useful tips to do it correctly

To complete the blank you’ll need to use such information:

  • Your name;
  • TIN;
  • Address;
  • Entity type;

The first step in this process is to enter your legal name right out on the first line and add below business name on line 2. Make sure on item 1 it’s exactly the same as on your Income Tax Return. Line 2 is optional. Mention business name only if it’s different from the one mentioned above.

The next step is to choose entity type according to your business model. Check a suitable box. If there is no such option, use “Other” section.

Item 4 is used for Exemption and FATCA codes, but it is necessary not for all. If you’re not exempt from backup withholding, or you are luckily not FATCA reporting, you don’t need it.

On lines 5 and 6 provide your full address. Make sure it’s correct, cause it’ll be used to mail you your 1099 copy.

On Part I you should use your TIN. For organizations its Employer Identification Number. And if you are the individual, you must enter Social Security Number. Remind for Residents alien, that they should use ITIN.

completing W-9 form

The last step is to date the document on Part II and sign it. If you still have any issues with the blank, you can get help on our website. We also give you a possibility to complete the form online with e-signature.

When to submit W-9 on request?

You don’t always have to provide the document. The following spreadsheet explains when you should fill a W-9 and when not.


You have to complete the blankYou shouldn’t provide the form
You’re freelancer and you’ve received at least $600 from a client.You’re a full-time employee and your monthly wages are your only income.
You’ve made direct sales over $5000.The request comes from IRS (it’s fraud).
You receive financial income.You don’t know who asks for the document and why. In this cases you should ask the requester about that.

Always check whether you have to complete the blank. It contains you personal information that has to be protected from leaks and fraud.