How to Fill Out a W-9 Form: A Simple Guide

Any business that employs independent contractors and freelancers deals with Form W-9 in order to gather key information from each. If you work under one of the listed statuses, you should always file a copy of your W-9 on time to agree that you are responsible for paying your income tax, Social Security, and Medicare. Read our guide to shed light on all the important aspects of this essential tax form.

What Is a W-9 Form

Before you learn how to make a W-9 correctly, you should understand the true purpose of this form. Form W-9 or Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification is issued by the Internal Revenue Service to let businesses request key information, such as name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from all the independent contractors, freelancers, vendors, or consultants.

If you are one of these entities, you can receive a request from a client to fill out this form to provide them with the information for filling out Form 1099-NEC (Nonemployee Compensation) and report all the payments made to you within the financial year (FY).

For more information on how to get the W-9 form’s latest version, keep exploring our blog by clicking the links. We have a library of the freshest federal form versions for any purpose. You can also check it out on the official IRS website.

How to complete a W-9 Form

Using the PDFLiner form editor, you can fill out a W-9 online and submit it electronically or print it directly from the editor. The platform includes all the essential features for filling out tax forms and templates as well as for signing and submitting them.

Filling out Form W-9 as an independent contractor, freelancer, or other entity, you have to complete the first page of the form. Here are the essential steps:

  1. Line 1 – enter your full name in the same form as on your income tax return.
  2. Line 2 – provide your business or disregarded entity name if it has any differences from your personal name.
  3. Line 3 – here, you have to check the box that classifies your tax stats properly. If you can’t find your status on the list, you have to claim a custom status in the empty box, following the instructions on pages 2-6.
  4. Line 4 – provide your valid exempt payee code if you have one and/or your FATCA exemption reporting code (if any).
  5. Lines 5 and 6 – enter your actual residence address.
  6. Line 7 – here, you can list your account numbers if needed.
  7. Part I – Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) – enter your Social Security Number (SSN) or the Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you are preparing a W-9 for a business.
  8. Part II – study the certification section carefully to be aware of your duties.
  9. Sign and date the form to validate the reportable information.

Follow this instruction for extra accuracy while filling out the W-9 form for individuals or businesses on PDFLiner.

How to fill out W-9 as LLC

If you need to create a W-9 as an LLC, you have to:

  1. Provide your name and your LLC’s name;
  2. Confirm that you are an LLC by checking the corresponding box in line 3;
  3. Provide your EIN;
  4. Sign and date the form before submitting it.

How to sign a W-9 form

Signing a W-9 isn’t a complicated task if you learn how to sign W-9 with our guide. You can sign the form electronically right on PDFLiner by uploading a complete form from your device or using the e-sign option after filling out the form in our online editor. Using PDFLiner, you can utilize different signing methods, including:

  • Generate – simply type your full name to generate a secure digital signature;
  • Draw – use your mouse, touchscreen, or any other capable input device to draw your signature electronically and insert it into the document;
  • Upload – this option lets you upload an image that contains your signature from your device;
  • Capture – use your web camera to capture the signature from a sheet of paper or any other manually signed document.

Regardless of the method you choose, your digital signature is protected from any unauthorized applications.

How to file a W-9 form

It’s necessary to request the W-9 form every time your company has to report the payments made to an independent contractor. The information from the form is needed to fill out Form 1099, so every contractor must send a W-9 to the requester before February 1. In most cases, the requester will set an earlier deadline or ask you to file a W-9 before you start collaborating.

It’s not necessary to submit your W-9 to the IRS, but you must keep a copy in your archive for as long as possible. A business entity that requests a W-9 must keep a copy too and submit Form 1099 to report the payments made to the contractor if they exceed $600 during the tax year.


Here are some more brief answers to the most popular questions on the topic.
How much taxes will I pay on a W-9?
Although the requesting party doesn’t withhold any W-9 fees, you must ensure that you pay the income tax from the income received from the W-9 arrangement. As for the Social Security and Medicare fees, you have to pay both amounts for yourself and the employee. To figure out the amount of IRS withholdings on your W-9 income, you have to multiply your income by the current flat-rate divided by 100. For example, if the current flat rate is 24%, you have to multiply your income from a W-9 arrangement and multiply it by 0.24.
How does a W-9 work?
Form W-9 is a formal Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification that lets business entities legally obtain the filers SSN or EIN and report it in their Form 1099. This is required only if the total amount of payments made during the FY exceed $600.
Who is required to fill out a W-9?
This form must be filled out by independent contractors, freelancers, consultants, vendors, etc., if they provide services to a business and receive a request for a W-9.

Who is required to fill out a W-9?
This form must be filled out by independent contractors, freelancers, consultants, vendors, etc., if they provide services to a business and receive a request for a W-9.
How long is a W-9 good for?
Once you complete and submit a W-9 to the requesting party, you don’t have to file a new one until any changes in your name, business name, address, SSN, EIN, etc., occur. Don’t forget to keep the copies of both old and new versions of the form in your archive.
How does a W-9 affect my taxes?
You are not required to pay any tax to the company you are working for, but you must pay the standard income tax and extended Medicare and Social Security. The thing is that you have to pay the employer’s part too.
How does a W-9 for a landlord work?
If you are a landlord, your tenants have the right to request a W-9 as you are a vendor for them, and vendors must provide a W-9 to their tenants if the yearly rent amount exceeds $600. Using the information from the vendor’s W-9, commercial tenants can report the amount they paid for rent during the year. A landlord may also request a W-9 from a tenant to be able to report the interest earned from the tenant’s security deposit. The “$600 rule” remains the same for this one.
How does a W-9 for a child work?
Minors are required to submit Form W-9 in case if they are the official owners of the payments being made. The form can be filled out and signed by a parent, legal guardian, or the child themselves.

Printable Blank Form W-9

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