The Internal Revenue Service expects taxpayers to report all income earned every year. Instead of relying on taxpayers to self-report, however, the agency has established a dual-reporting system where the entity making payments also reports on the amounts paid out. This way, the reporting system has an automatic check built in that ensures that no one can hide income from the IRS. Payers need specific information to make an accurate report to the agency. Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer's Identification Number and Certification, is designed to provide the payer with the information it needs. Whenever it hires an independent contractor or third party entity, such as a nonprofit, it should request a completed version of this form from the party. The payer then keeps the form on file and uses the information on it at year-end to make its report to the IRS.
Place the nonprofit's official name and address in the proper places at the top of the W-9 form, not the name or address of the person filing out the form. Leave the space marked “DBA” blank unless the nonprofit is operating under a registered trade name.
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Check the “C corporation” box in the section that asks for the entity type. All nonprofits are corporations. Alternatively, you could check the “Other” box and write in “nonprofit corporation.” Both methods are valid.
Indicate the type of income received in the next section. The applicable choices are “Other Income” and “Non-employee Compensation.” Choose “Other Income” if the payment expected will relate to something other than services rendered by the organization, such as lottery winnings. Otherwise, check “Non-employee Compensation.”
Provide the nonprofit's employer identification number, or EIN, in the “Taxpayer Identification Number” section. The EIN is the number the nonprofit uses to file its taxes, not the Social Security number of the person filing out the form.
Sign and date the certification section of the form. This section establishes that you are providing the requester with the correct taxpayer identification information to allow it to make an accurate report of payments to the IRS. Give the form to the entity requesting it.
Terry Masters has been writing for law firms, corporations and nonprofit organizations since 1995, specializing in business topics, personal finance, taxation, nonprofit issues, and general legal and marketing content creation for the Internet. Terry holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a minor in finance.