How can my employer charge me taxes when I didn't fill out any form (like W2, W4, or W9)?
**UPDATE** After my answer was viewed over 4,100 times without a single upvote, I revisited it to see where I might have gone wrong with it. Honestly, it seems like a reasonable answer: I explained what each of the forms asked about is for and even suggested getting further information from a licensed tax preparer. BUT, I’m thinking I missed the underlying concern of the querent with my answer. Now I’m reading that they don’t care so much about the forms as they do about the right or, more accurately, the obligation of their employer to withhold taxes at all.So let me revise my answer a bit…Your employer doesn’t charge you taxes - the government does. The government forces employers to withhold (or charge, as you put it) taxes from the earnings of their employees by threatening fines and even jail time for failing to do so (or for reclassifying them as independent contractors in order to avoid the withholding and matching requirements). Whether you fill out any forms or not, employers will withhold taxes because they don’t want to be fined or go to jail.Now the meta-question in the question is how can the government tax its citizen’s income? Well, that’s a big debate in America. Tax is the only way governments make money and they use that money to prservices for their constituency. Without funding, no federal or state or county program, or employee, would exist. But still, some people believe taxation is illegal, unjustified, and flat out wrong. They believe that free market forces should fund the military, the Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Border Patrol, the FBI, CIA, DEA, FDA, USDA, USPS, the Federal Prison Complex, the National Park Service, the Interstate Highway System, air traffic control, and the Judiciary (just to name a few things). They even believe paying politicians for the work they do, like the President and Congress, is wrong.Others (luckily, most of us) appreciate paying taxes, even if they seem a bit steep at times. We’re happy to benefit from all the things our tax dollars buy us and we feel what we pay gives us back returns far greater than our investment. If you’re on the fence about this issue, consider how expensive health care is and how much you’re getting out of paying for it privately (out of your own paycheck). Same with your education or that of your children. Do you pay for private schools? Private colleges? Do you pay for private child care too? All expensive, right?Well what if we had to pay for private fire fighting? Or all mail had to be shipped via FedEx or UPS? Or if the cost of a plane ticket to anywhere doubled because we had to pay out-of-pocket for air traffic control? What about the military, border control and veterans? How much are you willing to pay out of every paycheck DIRECTLY to the department of defense AND veterans affairs? If we privatized the military, would we still be able to afford $30 billion dollar fighter jets? Who would pay to defend us?I bet people living paycheck to paycheck would be hard pressed to find extra money to pay for the military, when they’re already spending so much for teachers, schools, health care, local emergency response, food safety inspections, social workers, the criminal justice system, road repairs and construction, bridge inspection and maintenance, and natural disaster remediation (just to name a few things).Think about if all the national and local parks were privatized. Visiting one would cost as much or more than it does to go to Disneyland. Think about how much more food would cost if farmers weren’t subsidized and food wasn’t inspected for safety. Imagine how devastating a pandemic would be without the Center for Disease Control to monitor and mitigate illness outbreaks.We all take for granted the myriad of benefits we get from paying taxes. We may like to gripe and moan but taxes aren’t just for the public good, they’re for our own. (That rhymes!)**END OF UPDATE**W-9 forms are what you fill out to verify your identification, or citizenship status, for your employers. They have nothing to do with payroll taxes other than being the primary tool to from which to glean the correct spelling of your name and your Social Security number.W-2 forms are issued by employers to employees for whom they paid the required payroll taxes to the government on their behalf. The W-2 also details the amount of a person’s pay was sent to the government to fund their Social Security and Medicare accounts. W-2 forms are necessary for people when filing their personal income taxes so they can calculate if they under or overpaid.W-4 forms are filled out by employees to assure that the appropriate amount of pay is being withheld (and transferred on their behalf) by their employers to the government. If you don’t fill out a W-4 then your employer withholds the standard default amount for a single individual. You can update your W-4 at any time with your employer and you may want to when the size of your household changes.Even if you aren’t an employee (like you get paid without taxes being withheld for you) and are issued a 1099-MISC form instead of a W-2, you’re STILL responsible for paying your taxes as you earn that money - in no greater than quarterly installments. If you go over three months without paying taxes when you’re making money - whether your employer is withholding it and paying it on your behalf or you just made the money and no one took any taxes out for you - you’ll be fined and charged interest on your late tax payments.Talk with a licensed tax preparer and they can help you better understand what it all means. Good luck and happy tax season!
Startup I am no longer working with is requesting that I fill out a 2021 w9 form. Is this standard, could someone please prany insight as to why a startup may be doing this and how would I go about handling it?
It appears that the company may be trying to reclassify you as an independent contractor rather than an employee.Based on the information provided, it appears that such reclassification (a) would be a violation of applicable law by the employer and (b) potentially could be disadvantageous for you (e.g., depriving you of unemployment compensation if you are fired without cause).The most prudent approach would be to retain a lawyer who represents employees in employment matters.In any event, it appears that you would be justified in refusing to complete and sign the W-9, telling the company that there is no business or legal reason for you to do so.Edit: After the foregoing answer was written, the OP added Q details concerning restricted stock repurchase being the reason for the W-9 request. As a result, the foregoing answer appears to be irrelevant. However, I will leave it, for now, in case Q details are changed yet again in a way that reestablishes the answer's relevance.
If someone receives a gratuity do they need to fill out a W9 tax form?
It depends on the amount of the gratuity and the context in which it is received.First a W9 form is used when a business pays for services to vendors that it reasonably expects the payments will total more than $600 during a calendar year. The W9 is required to give the business the necessary information needed to complete a Form 1099 to report payments for services provided during the year. Gratuities received for providing services to a business would certainly fall under the 1099 reporting requirements and therefore a W9 form would be appropriate.Some businesses have a policy of requiring a W9 from every service provider before any payment in any amount is made. Not particularly a legal requirement, but given the frequent difficulty of obtaining the information after payment has been made, not a necessarily unreasonable policy to have.That is when the gratuity is received in the context of providing a service to a business. Payments for personal services are not subject to 1099 reporting and a W9 should not be needed. Payment of gratuities in the context of what we typically think of in terms of gratuity such as a wait staff at a restaurant or stylist at a hair salon are generally personal in nature and the reporting falls on the service person’s employer and not the person paying the gratuity, so a W9 in that case would not be typical.So did you work a weekend event for a business convention and they want to give you a $500 tip for doing a great job, but require a W9, yea I would probably fill out the form. Do you wait tables at a restaurant and the guest wants to tip you $50 for his business luncheon, I would probably not be inclined to fill out the form.
Do W9 forms need to be filled out by hand? Can I fill it out in a text editor like Word instead?
No, W9 forms do not need to be filled out by hand. Assuming you have a PDF, there are many PDF editors which allow you to fill in the form on your personal computer and even insert a signature, if you have one.Mac’s Preview app does this on most PDFs. Word might actually do it as well, I simply don’t use Word. Google Docs has the functionality, as well.
What form do I fill out, a W9 or a W8-BEN? I am a US citizen living in Canada as a permanent resident. I am a freelancer (not an employee on a payroll) working for someone in the US, but I will be reporting my earnings to Canada Revenue, not the IRS.
You fill out a W-9. As a US citizen, you are taxed on your worldwide income. It doesn't matter if you don't even set foot in the US.You will however receive a foreign tax credit on your US return equal to the tax paid in Canada or the US tax on the same income, whichever is lower.You also must file an FBAR each year with the US Treasury if you have non-US financial accounts totalling $10K or more. This is measured by finding the highest balance at any time of year for each account and adding up those numbers. Failure to file carries significant penalties.