W-9 form for independent contractors – a word of advice

People, who perform some works or offer their services to another entity (company, LLC, etc.) as nonemployees, are legally obligated to provide the revenue service with information about their income. For an independent contractor W-9 form is the main tax blank, used to submit all the required taxpayer data to the Revenue Services.

Who has to report about the income by filing a W-9 form

You have to file your taxes and submit a W-9 if you are:

  • A nonemployee contractor/freelancer/individual contributor who lives in the US and works with US-based companies.
  • The citizen of the US who serves an international employer as a freelancer/individual contributor.
  • An independent subcontractor who lives in a foreign country and works with a US-based company (and therefore receives the US-sourced income).

The document itself consists of two blocks

  • Block 1 – Personal information: you have to complete lines 1, 5 and 6 with your name and address.
  • Block 2 – Taxpayer identification number: you have to write in your SSN here.

Important tips 

All the required IRS papers are usually given to the individual contributors by the employer they work for. In case if your client won’t provide you with the blank, you can download the latest version in PDF or Word file from the IRS website and either print it, fill out and send by post or use editable version of this document and submit it by email.

Filling out a W-9 as an independent contractor is easy, but still, you have to double-check all the data and make sure there are no mistakes and typos in your tax form.

The deadline for sending IRS forms for the last year is January 31st of the current year. Make sure you follow the deadlines to avoid penalties.