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Video:How to Fill In a W-9 Form

with Omar Saad

Tax time can be a big headache every year, especially if you're not familiar with all of the forms you need to fill out. One of the most common forms you'll encounter is the W-9 form. Here's a guide to filling in a W-9 form.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Fill In a W-9 Form

Hi, I'm Omar Saad here for About.com, and today, we're going to take a look at how to fill out a W-9 form using information from About.com's Tax Planning site.

Basics of Filling In a W-9 Form

The W-9 is an IRS form that is used by companies to obtain you or your business' taxpayer identification number when they've contracted you out for work. The good news is that it's a fairly quick and straightforward form to complete. Let's take a closer look. The W-9 form is comprised of 3 basic sections, all listed on page one of the form. The upper section is where you will put your personal or business information, as applicable, including entity name, type, and address. The middle section, ironically labeled Part 1, is where you list your taxpayer identification number. And the bottom section, labeled Part 2 is where you will certify the information you provided with your signature.

Fill In W-9 Form as an Individual

When filling out the W9 as an individual or sole proprietor, begin on the top line entering your legal name, of course matching the one you provide on your annual tax return for the business in question. Next, proceed to the checkbox portion and check "individual/sole proprietor". Then, proceed down to the address section and complete it with the mailing information for your business. Proceed down to Part 1, on the middle portion of the form. This is where you provide your taxpayer ID number. Here, you will enter in either your social security number or your employer ID number, in the event that you one. Finally proceed down to the certification section, Part 2, to sign your name and date.

Fill In W-9 Form as Another Entity

Filling the form out as an entity other than an individual/sole proprietor is much the same, but will feature some slight variations. You'll enter the legal name of your business on the top line. If you happen to have a DBA or "Doing Business As" name, you will enter it below on the second line. Next, you will mark the appropriate checkbox. According to the IRS' instructions, if you have an LLC, and it's its own tax entity, such as a partnership, C-corporation, or S-corporation, then do not check the LLC box but, instead, check the appropriate tax classification box. Filling out IRS forms can sometimes be a daunting task. Thankfully, the W-9 is about as straightforward as they come. Just be sure to review it carefully and ask your tax preparer if you have any questions.

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