Completing IRS Form W-9

You may receive requests for a completed signed IRS Form W-9. The information requested on form W-9 can be used to generate a 1099.  Completing the W-9 does not imply you will receive a 1099.

Form W-9 is a formal written request for information only to confirm a person’s (or entity’s) name, address and taxpayer identification number. The form itself appears very simple, but it’s very easy to provide incorrect information.

Line 1 Name notes “as shown on your income tax return”.  On page 3, there are specific instructions for each type of entity.  For an individual, sole proprietor or single member LLC, “your income tax return” is form 1040/1040A/1040EZ.  The most common errors seen in completing form W-9 are the name of an entity where an individual’s name should be on line 1 and the name & TIN not being associated.  For Example, if you are known as Jake Smith, but your Social Security card reads Jacob B. Smith, Jake Smith is NOT the correct name to provide.

Individual/ Sole Proprietor – Enter the name shown on your tax return (1040) on Line 1.  Your name should be the same on your tax return and W-9 as it is shown on your Social Security card. Do not provide the name you are called or a nickname unless it is on your Social Security card as your name.  If you use a DBA, “doing business as” name, enter it on line 2, not 1.

Single Member LLC – A single member LLC doesn’t file a separate tax return. For Federal and state tax purposes, it’s a disregarded entity, meaning in this case, the filing is included on your individual return – generally Schedule C or E of form 1040.  Line 1 on your W-9 should list your name as it appears on the first page of your tax return with your Social Security number.  The name of your LLC may be entered as DBA name.  Only one TIN should be entered on the W-9 and it should be the one associated with the name on line 1 (not your business EIN).

Multi-Member Limited Liability Company (LLC) –   This entity does file its own tax return.   Line 1 of the W-9 should report the name of the entity as it appears on the tax return.  It is important to note the tax classification.  If your LLC has made a C or subchapter S election, you should enter appropriately. If you are unsure of your filing, check with your accountant.

Lastly, sign and date the form.

As always, please contact our office if you have questions.