What is the purpose of IRS form w-9?

Written by elle mccormick
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What is the purpose of IRS form w-9?
Request for taxpayer identification number (id form image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

IRS Form W-9 is a request for a taxpayer identification number. It is used by companies that need your taxpayer ID to inform the IRS how much money they've paid you or by charities that need to report your donations.


Businesses that hire independent contractors typically ask the contractors to fill out a W-9 form. Non-profit organisations might also send a W-9 to donors so the donors can claim a tax deduction for their donation.


IRS Form W-9 includes space for your name or business name, address, business type, and your taxpayer identification number (usually your Social Security number) or federal employer identification number (EIN).


You must sign the form to certify that the taxpayer ID number you entered is correct, that you are a U.S. citizen, and that you are not subject to backup withholding.


Unless you have a good reason, you could be penalised £32 if you don't give your taxpayer ID number to a business that requests it. If you give inaccurate information about backup withholding, the penalty is £325.


The business or non-profit does not send the completed Form W-9 to the IRS. Instead, the form is kept on file and used to prepare a 1099 to report income.

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