IRS Form W-9 (Substitute) (Request for TIN)/More Info

IRS Form W-9 (Substitute) (Request for TIN) 
 Additional Information 
The payer may then pay the full amount owed, but must also report to the IRS the amount of the payment, the payee's name and other information, and the TIN.  If the individual recipient fails or refuses to provide his or her TIN, the payer is required to withhold 31% of the amount and pay that over to the IRS as "backup withholding."  

Payees without the appropriate TIN must apply for a number and then supply it to the payer when received.  Individuals seeking a Social Security Number must complete Form SS-5 through the Social Security Administration.  Corporations, partnerships, trusts and other entities must submit a Form 22-4, Request for Employer Identification Number, to the IRS. 

Anyone making payments that may be covered should error on the side of safety and request that the recipient complete a form W-9.  This insures that the payer does not have to withhold any of the amounts due to the recipient.  Keep the W-9 with your important tax records.  Do not file it with the IRS.  The payer will be required to report the payments to the IRS and supply the payee a copy of IRS Form 1099. 

Read the following taken from the IRS instruction form for additional information.  Remember that using this form with an employee in lieu of making required payroll withholdings and payments is dangerous.  If someone works for you on a regular basis, subject to your control, he or she may be characterized as an employee.  As the employer, you must make these withholdings and payments, or risk substantial IRS penalties.  Consult your attorney or tax accountant for more information.   

Number to be supplied 
In some cases, the taxpayer should supply an individual Social Security Number.  In other cases, the taxpayer will supply an "employer identification number," obtained from the IRS by submitting form SS-4.  Following is a list of various entities and the number each should supply: 

The following should supply a Social Security Number: 

- individuals 
- joint individual payees (two or more individuals) (supply the number of the owner of the account or, if combined funds, the first individual on the account) 
- custodian for a minor (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) ( name and SSN of the minor) 
- revocable savings trust (where grantor is also trustee, give name and SSN of the grantor-trustee) 
- pseudo trust account (i.e., not a formal or valid trust under state law, supply the name and number of the actual owner. 
- sole proprietor  
The following should supply an Employment Identification Numbers: 

- valid trust, estate or pension trust 
- corporate account 
- association, club, or religious, charitable, educational, or other tax-exempt organization 
- partnership 
- broker or registered nominee 
- account with the Department of Agriculture in the name of a public entity (such as a state or local government, school district, or prison) receiving agricultural program payments 

Substitute Form W-9   
You may develop and use your own Form W-9 (a substitute Form W-9) if its content is substantially similar to the IRS's official Form W-9 and it satisfies certain certification requirements.   

You may incorporate a substitute Form W-9 into other business forms you customarily use, such as account signature cards, provided the certifications that (1) the payee's TIN is correct and the payee is not subject to backup withholding due to failure to report interest and dividend income, shown on the official Form W-9, are clearly set forth. You may not: 

1. Use a substitute Form W-9 that requires the payee, by signing, to agree to provisions unrelated to the required certifications; or  

2. Imply that a payee may be subject to backup withholding unless the payee agrees to provisions on the substitute form that are unrelated to the required certifications. 

A substitute Form W-9 that contains a separate signature line just for the certifications satisfies the requirement that the certifications be clearly set forth. 

If a single signature line is used for the required certifications and other provisions, the certifications must be highlighted, boxed, printed in bold-face type, or presented in some other manner that causes the language to stand out from all other information contained on the substitute form.  Additionally, the following statement must be presented in the same manner as in the preceding sentence and must appear immediately above the single signature line: " The Internal Revenue Service does not require your consent to any provision of this document other than the certifications required to avoid backup withholding."    

For more detailed instructions on the W-9, refer to the Internal Revenue Service website at
As in any financial matter, consult with your tax attorney and accountant when filing any documents with the IRS.