The IRS has posted to its website revised Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, with a revision date of December 2014. In addition, the IRS released revised Instructions for the Requester of Form W-9. Highlights are as follows:
Purpose of Form W-9
Form W-9 is used by a U.S. person (including a U.S. citizen or resident alien) to provide its correct tax identification number (TIN) to the requester, and when applicable, to:
- Certify the TIN being provided is correct (or that a TIN has been applied for)
- Certify the person completing the form is not subject to backup withholding
- Claim exemption from backup withholding if the person completing the form is an exempt payee
As noted in the form instructions, the TIN provided on the form can be an:
- Individual’s tax identifying number, which can be an of the following:
- Social security number (SSN)
- Individual tax identification number (ITIN)
- Adoption tax identification number (ATIN)
- Employer tax identification number (EIN)
Changes Noted on the Revised Form
- Added numbering to lines at the top part of the form (previously unnumbered)
- Line 1, Name: additional instructions provided that a name must be provided on Line 1 and that the line cannot be left blank
- Line 3: Federal tax classification check boxes: note added to clarify for a single-member LLC that is disregarded, the single-member owner should be named on Line 1 and the checkbox on Line 3 should be individual/sole proprietor or single-member LLC
- Form Instructions have been updated throughout to correspond to form changes
Notable Changes in the Revised Instructions to Requester of Form W-9
- Exempt payee code: Exempt payees are encouraged to enter an exempt payee code (from 1 to 13 as provided in the instructions) in order to claim exemption from backup withholding. Absence of the code does not imply the need to backup withhold unless the TIN is not provided in Part I.
- Reason to Know: The instructions have added language regarding receipt of Form W-9 with a FATCA exemption code when the requester knows the person identified on the form is a specified U.S. person. When this occurs, the form cannot be relied upon to treat the person as exempt from FATCA reporting, but it can be used treat the person as a specified U.S. person.
Reminders of Changes to Form W-9 Due to FATCA Regulations
- 4th Certification: The revised form continues to carry the 4th certification, which was added in the prior version. The payee completing the form must certify that the FATCA code, if any, entered in the FATCA exemption box is correct. While this code is not required to be provided by payees when requested by a U.S. financial institution or other U.S. requester, the Instructions to the Requester continue to require all certifications on the form, including substitute forms.
- Eyeball Test: U.S. withholding agents are required to obtain the revised Form W-9 from all U.S. payees, including entities. In the absence of a Form W-9, or other permissible documentation (i.e., documentary evidence to support U.S. status in combination with the eyeball test), certain exempt recipients under Chapter 61 will be presumed to be foreign and therefore nonparticipating FFIs with respect to withholdable payments.
Required Usage of December 2014 Form W-9
Requesters should begin using the revised Form W-9 as soon as practical. Since there are not significant changes that would cause the certifications or information provided to be incomplete from the last revision of the Form (released in August 2013), the 6-month transition period is unlikely to be required. However, if a requester of Form W-9 has not begun using the August 2013 revision of the Form, it should begin using the December 2014 right away.
For Your Reference
Form W-9 and the Instructions for the Requester can be accessed by clicking here:
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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