How to Fill Out IRS Form W-9

How to Fill Out IRS Form W-9
  • Opening Intro -

    If you are a freelance worker or an independent contractor, your clients may need to obtain an important document from you to help them comply with Internal Revenue Service tax filing guidelines.


That form, a W-9, does not get forwarded to the IRS. Rather, it provides important information for the requester, details that can help them prepare your much needed 1099-MISC form, something you must refer to when you file your taxes.

Form W-9 can help you get ready for tax time.

Obtaining a W-9 is easy as is filling out the form and sending it off to the requester. The following instructions offer step-by-step guidance on how to accomplishment this task.

Go to the IRS website. Visit to find the form or go directly to to find Form W-9. The form, with instructions,  is four pages long — print out the entire document.

Print or type in the area designated with your name, business name, address and account number, if applicable. Use a pen to fill out your form; write legibly.

Carefully enter your information. On the first line, enter your name exactly as shown on your tax return. On the second line, enter your business name if it is different from line one. On the third line, you will need to check the appropriate box stating whether you are an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company or other designated company. Move over to the right and if you are an exempt payee, which means you are exempt from backup withholding, check that box. On the fourth line include your street address and on the fifth line you must write your city, state and postal code. Move over to the right and enter the requester’s name and address or leave that information blank. On the sixth and final line, enter the account number, if any, you use to identify yourself to your client.

Enter your taxpayer identification number in the appropriate box in Part I. You will either offer your social security number or your employer identification number to your client.

Sign and date the form. Read the three points related to your W-9 form as outlined in Part II. Cross out the second point if you have been notified by the IRS that you are currently subject to backup withholding. Sign your form and print today’s date, certifying that the information you supplied is correct.

Forward your form. Send your completed form to the requester after you have verified that the information you supplied to him is correct. Fax or send by regular mail; confirm that the requester has received your form.

With the information you supplied to your client, you can expect to receive your 1099-MISC by January 31, the last date for that form to be sent.


Failure to supply the correct taxpayer identification number can result in a $50 fine for you. If you provide other false information regarding withholding, you are subject to a $500 penalty. There are criminal penalties for falsifying information as well.

Find Out More About Tax Career

The field of tax law has strong career opportunities, even during economic downturn. If you are looking to become a freelance worker, independent contractor or simply want to improve your savoir faire to help your firm, you might want to take some online classes to get the right degree. Many programs have been developed to help recent graduatesor current employees outperform their knowledge and acquire a real expertise in a flourishing field. A Master degree of Law in Taxation might be the solution for you and help you achieve your long term goals. Plus, it is really easy to manage with your busy schedule since all classes are given online.


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Categories: Tax Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".