The Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, also called Form W-9, is a tax document that you can use to collect a contractor’s tax information. By law, contractors must complete this form and submit it to you after performing services for your business. You can prepare and file your tax returns with the information the provided on the form.

Ensure that Form W-9 is appropriate for the recipient. Form W-9 is intended for U.S. persons and businesses created or organized in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service provides the Form W-8 series for foreign companies.

Provide the vendor with Form W-9 when you receive an invoice. You can download and print this form from the IRS website and mail or fax it to the vendor. You could also set up a system that allows vendors to complete the form electronically.

Wait for the contractor to submit the form to you before remitting payment. The completed form should include the name of the business entity, its address and its employer identification number. If the contractor indicates that the company is subject to backup withholding, you are responsible for subtracting from your payment the applicable withholding taxes due to the IRS.

Maintain the completed W-9 in your records. When you are ready to file your tax returns, report the information on the form, and the payment you made, to the IRS on Form 1099.