How to fill out a W-9 for a nonprofit corporation

Even though your nonprofit has tax-exempt status, you may need to fill out a W-9 when working with other businesses.

by Jane Haskins, Esq.
updated May 11, 2023 ·  2min read

If your nonprofit corporation provides services to another business, you may be asked to fill out a W-9 form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification). A W-9 is an Internal Revenue Service form that businesses use to obtain Social Security and taxpayer identification numbers from the people and organizations that they pay for services.

Tax statement

Businesses are required to report many of these payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They use the taxpayer ID or Social Security numbers listed on the W-9 forms to ensure that they have accurately identified the business or person to whom payments were made.

If your nonprofit is asked to fill out a W-9 form, it should do so, even though your nonprofit has tax-exempt status.

Where can I find a W-9?

The person or company that asked you to fill out a W-9 tax form may provide you with the form. If not, W-9 forms and instructions can be found on the IRS’s website.

How to fill out a W-9 for a nonprofit corporation

The following are instructions for filling out the specific parts on the W-9 form.

  • Name: Provide the nonprofit corporation’s name as it is shown on its nonprofit tax forms and articles of incorporation.
  • Business name/disregarded entity name: If your nonprofit does business under a trade name or “dba” that is different from the name listed on its articles of incorporation, list that name here. If your nonprofit does not have a dba, leave this line blank.
  • Federal tax classification: For the federal tax classification, check the box marked “other” and write “Nonprofit corporation exempt under IRS Code Section ____.” You should fill in the blank with the code section number for the type of tax exemption your organization has, such as 501(c)(3).
  • Exemptions: This box provides a place to enter a code for certain types of exemptions from backup withholding or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act reporting. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporations should leave this portion of the form blank. For more information on exemptions, consult a tax professional or see the IRS Form W-9 instructions.
  • Address: Provide your nonprofit’s mailing address on these lines.
  • Taxpayer identification number: A nonprofit corporation’s taxpayer identification number, also known as the employer identification number, or EIN, is a number that identifies a corporation for federal tax purposes—similar to a Social Security number for individuals. If your nonprofit organization does not already have an EIN, you can obtain one by filing form SS-4 with the Internal Revenue Service. You can also apply for an EIN online and receive it immediately. Once you have an EIN, enter that number in the boxes on the W-9 form. If you have applied for an EIN but have not received it yet, you can write “applied for” on the W-9 form. Do not fill in the boxes for a Social Security number.
  • Certification: Sign and date the certification. This certifies that you have provided the correct taxpayer identification number and are not subject to backup withholding.

Next steps

Give the completed W-9 form to the business that requested it. You don’t need to file the W-9 with the Internal Revenue Service.

W-9 forms are an important part of business tax and recordkeeping procedures. If your nonprofit does business with an entity that requests a W-9 form, be sure to fill it out and return it promptly.

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Jane Haskins, Esq.

About the Author

Jane Haskins, Esq.

Jane Haskins is a freelance writer who practiced law for 20 years. Jane has litigated a wide variety of business dispute… Read more

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