Who is required to fill out a W-9 tax 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.”

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.

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, signing a W-9 online is easier than ever before. Get forms and contracts signed fast using e-signatures with Acrobat Pro with e-sign.