If you work as an independent contractor or have investments, you are probably familiar with IRS Form W-9. This informational form is used to provide your name, address, type of entity, and taxpayer identification number. For individuals, this is your Social Security number. For partnerships, trusts and corporations, you provide your employer identification number. As an individual, you must to provide an updated Form W-9 if your name changes.
The IRS created Form W-9 to facilitate certification that a taxpayer identification number provided is accurate. Some reasons you may need to provide this information, according to the instructions for the form, are for "income paid to you, real estate transactions, mortgage interest you paid, acquisition or abandonment of secured property, cancellation of debt, or contributions you made to an IRA."
Filling Out the Form
The form is relatively simple to fill out. It is shorter than a half page in length. It includes a space for your name, address, and taxpayer identification number. There are boxes to check off to indicate whether your are an individual/sole proprietor, C corporation, S corporation, partnership, or trust/estate. There is also a space to sign and date the form.
Providing Incorrect Information
Form W-9 clearly states that you are committing perjury if you willingly furnish false information. You are subject to a $50 penalty every time you willingly choose to not furnish your taxpayer identification number. Willfully submitting an incorrect taxpayer identification number may result in civil and criminal penalties.
On page 2 of the instructions, the IRS indicates that "you must furnish a new Form W-9 if the name or TIN changes for the account." The instructions also specify that if your name has changed due to marriage but you have not changed your name with the Social Security Administration, you must include both your last name on file with the administration and your new last name.
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