My significant other purchased a spa day-pass from one of those deal-a-day sites (similar to Groupon, but done locally). The spa wouldn't accept the day-pass, so she's trying to get a refund from the deal-a-day site. They are requesting she fill out a W-9 before they refund any money. Their explanation is their parent company requires a W-9 before cutting any check. This doesn't sound appropriate, especially giving them her SSN for a mere refund.
Two questions -
Should a company require a W9 when you haven't done any work for them? I searched their site's terms and conditions and it doesn't list anything about a W9 required for refund.
If we do give them a W9, is that automatically going to cause us to report that as earned income in this years taxes?