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What is the purpose of IRS Form W-9?

Form W-9 is used by companies to obtain the tax classification and taxpayer identification number (EIN or SSN number) from vendors and independent contractors they pay.  This information is then used to determine if the company is required to send the vendor or contractor the related “information return”.

The best practice for companies is to request ALL vendors and contractors complete Form W-9 prior to releasing payment to them.