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As I understand, a W9 is typically issued for employment of a person. If a person from another company (for multiple company events) agrees to pay a rental fee of a hardware item owned by a person/corporation, for several occurrences are they required to collect a W9 from the person/corporation?

(They rented $6,000-valued hardware from me a few times in 2017, at a day use rate of $400. This totaled to $1200, where they told me that anyone paid $600 or more requires a W9. I clarified that I was not paid for my work, and that this was just the property rental fee. I'm also afraid that this company is trying to phish my social security number.)

  • One solution to your SSN concern is to get an EIN for your business and report that to your customer: irs.gov/instructions/iss4 – user662852 Jul 13 '18 at 2:55
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    W4 (and W2) is used for employment. W9 (and various 1099's) is used for contracting, which is not employment even if it seems similar to you, and for many other kinds of reportable income and expense -- rentals like yours and royalties, bank/stock/bond/investment interest/dividends/gains, and many more. If this is the official form and not a substitute, have a look at the 'Purpose of Form' section at the bottom of the first page -- or get the official form from the IRS website and do so. However if the payee is a corporation (no SSN ever) most reporting (and thus W9) is not required. – dave_thompson_085 Jul 13 '18 at 16:36
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I don't believe a W9 is strictly required. But it is a convenient way for them to get the information they need. Since they paid you rental fees exceeding $600, they must issue a 1099-MISC. They have to get the information to do that somehow, and a W9 seems to be the best way.

See this for more details.

  • It seems Form 1099 C Misc seems the appropriate form. It doesn't mention rental property though - which is taken as different than rent (real estate)? – ina Jul 23 '18 at 2:58

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