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Do W-9 Forms Expire?

Do W-9 Forms Expire

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Going self-employed is freeing, but it isn’t easy. Not only do you have to work hard to keep yourself on track, but your income isn’t always stable either. Not to mention, you don’t have an employer to take care of important forms and documents anymore.

One particular form of interest is the W-9, which you’ll basically need to submit to all clients, and you may have employees that need to fill out W-9s too. Beyond the initial process, you might be curious about whether you need to submit it more than once.

So do W-9 forms expire? Read on to find out the answer to this question and more.

What Is a W-9 Used For?

Form W-9 is an IRS document used for tax purposes. The official title is “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.”

Essentially, it’s a form that individuals or businesses use to provide their taxpayer identification number (TIN) to entities that’ll be paying them income. The TIN can be a Social Security Number (SSN) for individuals or an employer identification number (EIN) for businesses.

When a person or business provides services to another entity (such as consulting work or freelance services), the payer might request a W-9 form to collect the necessary tax information for reporting payments to the IRS. The payer will use the information provided on the W-9 form to issue Form 1099-MISC at the end of the year, which reports the income paid to the recipient.

Do W-9 Forms Expire?

No, the W-9 form itself doesn’t expire. The main purpose of a W-9 form is for individuals to provide their taxpayer information to their clients or employers.

Once you’ve given an entity a W-9, it remains valid until there’s an adjustment in your tax status. This can be a change in your legal name, address, or business entity type. Your W-9 may also become invalid if the IRS updates the form.

In some cases, you may receive a CP2100 or 2100A notice. This means your legal name and/or Social Security number don’t match what’s currently on file. Your TIN may even be completely missing.

So how long is a W-9 good for? If everything stays the same forever, then theoretically, it can be good forever as well.

Do You Need a New W-9 Each Year?

Technically, you don’t need a W-9 each year if all of your taxpayer information hasn’t changed; at least, you’re not legally required to do so. 

However, it’s definitely a good idea to ask for W-9s or submit them yearly. The nature of freelance work means frequent address changes are the norm, so it doesn’t hurt to confirm current data or to get it updated.

Many entities have their own policies regarding the frequency of requesting updated W-9 forms, so make sure to double-check with requestors. If you’re the one asking for W-9s, then come up with a plan when forming your company so the procedures are clear to your employees and vendors.

On that note, if you haven’t created a business yet, you can do so by using our business registration service. We can help you with all the paperwork so you won’t have to struggle.

Make Sure Your W-9 Has Correct Information

The answer to the question, “Do W-9 forms expire?” is “No.” But this doesn’t mean it’s a one-and-done deal.

While W-9s are technically good forever, you must resubmit if any taxpayer information has changed. Plus, some entities require a new W-9 every year anyway.

The point is that it’s your responsibility to not only ensure the information on your W-9 is correct, but to know what your clients’ policies are. And if you have employees and/or work with vendors, you should have a transparent W-9 policy that’s communicated at the start of your business relationships.
Sign up with Business Anywhere if you’d like to start your own company. We can set up both limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations in all 50 states.

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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