What is Form W-9 and Why Do I Need It?

IRS Form W-9 is used to request a taxpayer identification number, as well as the individual or business name and complete address. The information provided on this form is used by a business (the payor) to determine if an annual information return (Form 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC) is required to be filed with the IRS and issued to the recipient.

As a best practice, businesses should request a completed Form W-9 from all vendors or contractors at the onset of doing business and should be part of the onboarding process when setting up a new vendor. The completed W-9 should be obtained before remitting the first vendor payment. It may be more challenging to obtain an initial Form W-9 from vendors later, particularly if the vendor no longer does business with your company. This will save a lot of time and effort come tax season when any required Forms 1099 need to be prepared and filed with the IRS.

For more information, contact Vedha Krishnamoorthy, CPA, FCA, DISA, Manager, at 716.633.1373 or


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