The W-9 is an IRS form commonly used by self-employed people. It enables businesses to collect tax information from anyone they pay who isn’t an employee, such as independent contractors or vendors. Businesses are required to report to the IRS how much they paid each contractor, and to do so, they need the information in the W-9 form.
Generally speaking, if you’re a freelancer, independent contractor, or non-employee working for a business, you’ll need a W-9. Your client, or the person or business paying you, is typically responsible for requesting a W-9 from you. Having your W-9 form means they can file a 1099 form to report how much they paid you and whether federal tax withholding is necessary on the payments you receive.
If you’re working with a sub-contractor that you’ll be paying, you’ll need to request a completed W-9 from them. It’s best practice to request a completed W-9 before you start working with a sub-contractor so you have all the information you need to be able to pay them and file a 1099 form at the end of the year.
You can access the official W-9 form from the IRS site here. The most important information in the W-9 is your Tax Identification Number which is either your SSN (Social Security Number) or your EIN (Employer Identification Number).
Because your W-9 includes sensitive information like your SSN or EIN, emailing it is risky. Instead, use a secure method to share it, such as sharing via your Found account. You can easily create and fill out a W-9 form in your Found account, then share it via a secure link. With Found, you can also manage and remove access to your W-9 at any time.