Businesses often request that you submit a W-9 form when you are a freelancer or sole proprietor who receives payment for services. Your clients need the information that you enter on this form to report their payments to you. By submitting a W-9 to your client, they won’t need to withhold taxes from your payments, unlike they do for employees, who pay taxes on earnings each paycheck. The Internal Revenue Service says that you need to update your W-9s when you change your name.
Correct Your Social Security Record
Your IRS and Social Security Administration account records must match throughout your life. For most individuals, your Social Security number is also your IRS Taxpayer Identification Number. Therefore, before you can update your name on your W-9 form, you must submit your name change information to the Social Security Administration.
Download and complete the Application for a Social Security Card form. You must supply documents that verify your identity and the reason for your name change, such as a marriage license or divorce decree when you submit your application. Some items on the form won’t apply to a name change request. The SSA form provides instructions for all entries you need to complete and a list of documents they require to process your request.
Normally, you can present your application and documentation at a Social Security office or you can mail them. Use the office locator on the SSA website to find a convenient option. Call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance.
Correct All W-9 Forms
You don’t have to submit your W-9s to the IRS yourself. To change your name on your W-9 form, submit a corrected form to any clients that already have one with your previous name. The IRS suggests that you make these corrections before you file any tax returns after your name change.
In addition to clients that you perform services for, you might need to contact financial institutions that require a W-9. The IRS says that some companies that usually send you a 1099 form with tax details at the end of the year will also need a corrected W-9 form. The most common types that could need correcting include mortgage interest, IRA contributions, real estate or property sales and cancellation of debts that you owe.
W-9 Employer Identification Number Update
When you are self-employed or operate as a sole proprietorship, the IRS lets you apply for an Employer Identification Number. When you submit a W-9 to a client, you have the option to use your EIN on the form instead of your Social Security number. However, any EIN that the IRS issues to you is also linked to your Social Security number.
Once you have an EIN, the IRS doesn’t require that you get a new one when you change your name. After you update your Social Security record, provide your name change correction to existing clients to update W-9s for your self-employment or your sole proprietorship only. Continue using your original EIN when submitting W-9s to new clients.
Carol Luther has published feature articles in print magazines, ghostwritten blogs, and produced digital content since 2007. She has published personal finance and small business articles for the Houston Chronicle, Mahalo, the Nest, USA Today, Wahm, and Zacks. Carol has designed, implemented and managed multi-year, multimillion-dollar domestic and international projects services for higher education, nonprofits, and small to medium businesses for more than 20 years.