Instructions for IRS Form W-9 for a Family Trust

If you are receiving income or benefits from a family trust, those benefits are generally taxable. You will therefore need to provide your taxpayer ID or Social Security number to the trust with the Internal Revenue Service's Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification). This form functions as a W-4 form does for an employer — it enables the trust to report taxable income to you and facilitates accurate withholding. You will be subject to backup withholding for most income from a trust, similar to the way taxes are withheld by an employer.

Download Form W-9 and the instructions from the IRS website (see Resource).

Fill out the personal information section, and write your Social Security number in the box in Part I. If your trust qualifies as an exempt payee under Section 664 or as described in Section 4947 — generally reserved for charitable trusts — then check the "exempt payee" box. Otherwise, do not check the box.

Enter your Social Security number in the box in Part 1. If you don't have a Social Security number, you will need an individual taxpayer identification number (TIN).

Sign and date the form.

Give the form to the entity or person requesting the information. Do not send it to the IRS.


  • If you fail to provide a TIN or Social Security number to a trust and receive income or anything else of value from the trust, you may be subject to a $50 penalty from the IRS.