What is the difference between a W-2, W-3, W-4, W-8 and W-9?


After that, shred and discard the new hire paperwork because you could still be fined for improperly completed forms, even when they’re kept past the retention timeframe. Users can fill out an online form that converts their information into an existing PDF tax form. This document is the input for the W-2 form that is submitted to the IRS at the end of each year. In addition, it serves as a report on an employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld. W-4 forms are filled out by employees when they start a new job.

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The difference between W2 W4 and W9 can be mainly identified by giving consideration to the party responsible for completing the respective form. They have to be filled by employers , employees and independent contractors . Filling these forms are mandatory in nature to ensure proper payment of tax which is a responsibility of the mentioned parties. Further, tax calculation and documentation has been made convenient by these forms. However, you don’t have to pay for benefits or Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment taxes when you hire a contractor.

How Does a W9 Form Compare to Other Types of Forms?

Form W-2 or Wage and Tax Statement is a document that needs to be created annually for the IRS and each of the employees. Personal and work changes like a marriage, the birth of a child, or a new job affect the number of allowances an employee can claim. This rule also defines what kind of data these records should include. Employers need to file W-4 forms physically or electronically, but no regulations require them to be sent to the IRS or the SSA . The W-4 is part of the onboarding paperwork, and its final destination is the employer or the HR department.

After receiving the W2 Form from his or her employer, the employee must submit this information in April when paying taxes, with their Form 1040. Employers must provide employees their W2 by January 31 of each year. They are also required to send a copy to the Social Security Administration by February 29.

What are the tax deadlines for Form 1099?

A business is required to fill out form 1099-NEC, which is the income-reporting document sent to contractors at the end of the year . If these freelancers have earned more than $600 in the year, they can report and pay on the earnings you sent them. Form W-4, also known as the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, is filled out by an employee. It is how the employer knows how much to tax to withhold throughout the year. The amount withheld will be based on the allowances claimed – the more allowances, the lower amount of federal taxes withheld from each paycheck. W4 is the form completed by the employee in order to indicate his or her tax situation to the employer.


Getting the info wrong on either form could have tax consequences for both you and your employees. Both the W-2 and W-4 forms are tax-related forms for employees of all businesses. As a business owner, you have to file these forms for all part-time and full-time employees. You must also file their counterparts, the 1099 and W-9 forms, for contractors.

What is a W-9 form?

Employees can fill out a new W-4 if their personal or financial situation changes and they want to adjust their withholding allowances as a result. You file it with the government as a record of compensation and taxes and you distribute it to employees to help them fill out their tax returns. W-2 forms are handed to you by your payroll administrator at the end of the year. This year-end tax document shows an employee’s gross earnings, state and local taxes withheld, federal income taxes withheld, and any additional Social Security taxes you had withheld. If you have employer benefits, then your W-2 may also show how much you paid toward them.

Many payroll or accounting software platforms assist with W-2 filings. The deductions section lets employees reduce the amount of money withheld from their earnings. One common example of a deduction is student loan repayments. If an employee claims a deduction on their W-4, you’ll deduct less federal income tax from their paycheck and send them a higher net pay.

Enter your full Difference Between W2, W4 And W9 Forms name in the appropriate box as shown on your income taxes. If you are an LLC, enter the LLC’s name instead to ensure compliance with tax laws. If a person has received funds from an estate or trust, they will need to report those funds via a W9 tax form. While a trust or estate does not have to issue a payment, any payments made need to be reported. If the business does not withhold taxes from their income, an employee will need to fill out a W9 Form. This allows the payer to know how much taxes must be paid.

  • The states that accept or use the federal W-4 form recognize the amounts in your deductions section.
  • That means you are responsible for sending the employees’ taxes, to the state and IRS, on their behalf each quarter.
  • Jaime Lizotte is the HR & Tax Compliance Solutions Manager at HRdirect Smart Apps.
  • Because of this, you have more control over your employees — you dictate how and when they work.

The line can be blurry sometimes, and you certainly don’t want a lawsuit (such as when Uber had to pay out $100 million to its drivers). Self-employed workers don’t always need to fill out a Form W-9. However, many businesses ask independent contractors to complete one to avoid costly penalties from the IRS.

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