The Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and certification was developed by IRS to control the taxation of self-employed individuals. It asks you to provide your TIN, legal name, entity type and some other personal data.
Do I need a W-9?
You’ll have to provide the latest W-9 form if you’ve:
- earned $600 and more as a freelancer or vendor;
- made direct sales of $5000 and more;
- inherited taxable property;
- rented apartment with security deposit;
- received financial income, including dividends and interests.
Employees that don’t have income other than monthly wages shouldn’t fill the form. They’ll submit W-4 instead.
When not to complete the document?
There are a few cases when you shouldn’t fill the blank. The first one is when the request comes from IRS. The bureau never asks you to submit the form, so it’s fraud and you’d better not answer such inquiries.
You also shouldn’t provide a W-9 to any unfamiliar requester. Always ask who needs the information from you and why. You have to be sure the client has legal rights to request the document.