How to Fill Out a W-9 Form

Filling Out a W-9 Form
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The W-9 form is frequently used by a business or employer to record an individual's TIN, or taxpayer identification number. The TIN is nothing more than your Social Security number. More often than not, the W-9 is given to workers who receive income or payments in the form of commissions, real estate transactions and banking transactions. The W-9 can also be used to verify that an individual is a citizen or resident alien of the United States.


Step 1

Print or type your name where it says "Name." The name must match the name shown on your tax returns.

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Step 2

Check the box for "Individual/Sole proprietor" if you have not filed your taxes as a corporation, partnership or LLC. Most people will check the "Individual/Sole proprietor" box. If you're filling out the W-9 as an individual, simply leave the space for "Business name" blank. Otherwise, write in the name of your corporation, partnership or LLC (limited liability company).


Step 3

Check the box for "Exempt payee" only if you are positive that you are exempt from backup withholding. Most individuals or sole proprietors do not qualify as exempt payees. Therefore, you'll want to leave this box blank. Otherwise, refer to the extensive list of qualifications which appear on the W-9 form itself in order to see if you meet the exemption requirements. The qualifications appear on the form under "Specific Instructions, Exempt Payee."

Step 4

Enter your current United States address in the space provided. Then leave the spaces under "Requestor's name" and "Account number(s)" blank.


Step 5

Enter your Social Security number in the space provided. This is your taxpayer identification number (TIN). If you are a resident alien who does not have a Social Security number, enter your individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) instead. If you do not have a Social Security number or ITIN, contact your local Social Security Administration office to apply for a Social Security number. You will need to fill out form SS-5 in order to do this. You can also go to and download the SS-5 form.

Step 6

Read the Certification under Part II of the W-9. Then sign and date the W-9 form. When you're finished, provide the form to company or individual who issued it. Do not send the W-9 to the IRS.