Lost W-9 Tax form, options?

5 Replies

I hired a contractor back in October and he did some work for me on multiple properties to the tune of around 4k. I had him fill out a W-9 tax form. I recently had to fire him due to his quality of work lowered and he was unreliable. I can't seem to find the W-9 form I had him fill out. I have his name and address, but not his SSN. What are my options if I cannot locate the W-9? I could ask him to fill it out again but not sure how cooperative he'll be since we did not end our relationship on good terms.

Well ask him for it again. Gotta give him a chance to help. Document the process in case he doesn't respond. If he does great, if he doesn't tell your CPA and let them decide. I always mess up at least one W9 every year.

I have texted him and heard nothing back. Would my next move be a certified letter to his address? That way it's documented that I tried to get him to comply? I can still 1099 him without his SSN but I heard the IRS frowns upon that. 

@Samantha Klein

I'm not sure how you would file the 1099 with the IRS without a SSN or EIN. Not a bad idea to send a W-9 request certified. Otherwise, send email requests and save those. Not sure if you are already scanning and saving your W-9's to the cloud, but that is definitely a good practice. Paperless is the way to go.

@Daniel Hyman Thank you for the reply. I have contacted him and he says he will comply and come pick it up from me to fill out. I will be forwarding all of my future W-9s to my CPA from now on for the file. 


They will search for ein/ss numbers. If they can find the number they charge $50. if they can find no record there is no charge. Well worth the $50 for misplaced/lost w-9's considering the fines and the expense of having the labor costs disallowed in an audit.

I get a w-9 before I write a check but on occasion they do get misplaced.

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