Who is required to fill out a W-9 tax form?

A person reviews tax documentation and fills out a W9 form.

A simple guide to navigating this common tax form.

The IRS Form W-9, also commonly known just as a W-9, is a common tax form for many businesses and employees. However, as with all tax forms, only certain workers will need to fill out a W-9 form for their employer. Follow this handy guide to determine if you’re required to fill out a W-9 form upon starting work.

What are W-9 forms for?

W-9 forms are a way for the IRS to estimate what taxes will be owed by independent contractors or freelancers who provide labor or services to a business. This form also exempts businesses from having to withhold and pay taxes on behalf of these independent contractors. You may also see these forms called a “Request for taxpayer identification number and certification.”

Determining who needs to complete a W-9 can help make tax season easier, especially as a business owner. W-9s indicate a lack of company-instigated withholdings, which directly impacts who needs to fill out a W9. Those working under a W-9 will need to set aside their own tax savings to properly calculate and pay their taxes at the end of the year.

In addition to federal and state income tax, you also have to make payments towards Medicare and Social Security, which are additional factors to consider before you file.

Who needs to fill out a W-9 form?

Employers who work with independent contractors must provide them with a W-9 form to fill out before starting work. There are specific criteria for who is classified as an “independent contractor” and will need to fill out a W-9 form. You will need to fill out a W-9 form if you:

  1. Classify yourself as an independent contractor or “freelancer.”
  2. Are not a full-time employee of the business.
  3. Will be paid more than $600 for work provided to the business.

If you’re unsure if you need to fill out a W-9, consider speaking with an accountant or tax professional. They can help you identify your proper tax designation and determine what forms you will need to fill out in order to accurately file for that given tax year.

How to complete your W-9 tax form.

Ready to fill out your W-9? There are a few pieces of information that you should have on hand to make your experience as effective as possible:

Sign your W-9 form with Adobe.

Managing your tax documents with Adobe Acrobat is a great way to make tax season easier. With Acrobat, you can seamlessly create, annotate, share and sign digital documents, as well as collaborate in the safest way possible.

With many more businesses using freelancers or independent contractors to help them get work done, the W-9 form becomes a more common sight come tax season. Thankfully, filling out and signing a W-9 online is easier than ever before. Get forms and contracts signed fast using e-signatures with Adobe Acrobat Sign..