Managing the financial side of your freelance business is important to your success, and following tax rules is a big part of that. While we can’t give you tax advice, we can tell you what forms you need to submit to Upwork.

If you are a U.S person, you need to file a Form W-9 with Upwork (all others should file a Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E).

If you do not complete a W-9 with a valid taxpayer identification number — your Social Security or Employer Identification Number — we are required to withhold and remit taxes from your payments to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service at a pre-set tax rate.

To provide Upwork with your Form W-9

  1. Go to Settings > Tax Information > W-9
  2. Select I am a U.S. person
  3. Provide us with your legal name — your own legal name, or your business name if you're filing as a company entity
  4. Select your federal tax classification from the dropdown list
  5. Tell us your Taxpayer Identification Number type (SSN, EIN, or ITIN)
  6. Enter your SSN, EIN, or ITIN
  7. Read and electronically sign and date the W-9 certification
  8. Check the box to consent to signing electronically
  9. Check the box to receive tax documents digitally to be able to download them from our platform as soon as they are available
  10. Choose Save

You also need to make sure that your tax address is correct. We will be mailing your copy of Form 1099-K or other tax forms to you, if necessary. You can also choose to receive your Form 1099-K electronically instead of by mail when you complete your W-9 or in your Notification Settings, but your tax address still needs to be correct for tax purposes.

To enter or edit your tax address, go to Settings > Tax Information > Tax Residence.

The directions are the same as filling out the paper Form W-9 form from the IRS. We recommend that you contact your local accountant or tax advisor if you have questions about your filing status or TIN.

Note:

Once you complete and submit your information in the W-9 section, you’ll see “Completed” in the capsule beside the section’s title. If you haven’t done so yet, you’ll see “Not completed” in the capsule.

To edit your tax information

  1. Go to Settings > Tax Information
  2. Edit your tax information and save

To view your completed Form W-9

  1. Go to Settings > Tax Information
  2. In the W-9 section, select View

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the “W” U.S. tax forms and who completes them?
  • Form W-8BEN is completed by non-U.S. individuals
  • Form W-8BEN-E is a more detailed version of the W-8BEN that is required for non-individual non-U.S. entities (i.e. corporations and partnerships)
  • Form W-9 is completed by U.S. Persons

Both forms document taxpayer information that the IRS requires us to collect for people and businesses receiving payments through our platform.

Were there any changes in Form W-9 for tax year 2023?

The Form W-9 has not changed. However, in 2022, the IRS began requiring us to validate all Taxpayer Identification Numbers (a SSN, EIN, or ITIN). The IRS also requires us to withhold taxes on your earnings and send them to the IRS if we do not have a valid TIN number on file for you.

So, in 2023, we began requiring you to complete an accurate Form W-9 before you withdraw your earnings from our platform. Our online form also more closely resembles the paper version of the Form W-9 now than it did prior to 2022, which means that you may have to enter additional information if you need to complete a new Form W-9.

Do I need to complete a new Form W-9?

We encourage you to review your W-9 to ensure your information is correct. If you used a valid and accurate SSN, EIN, or ITIN on your Form W-9, you do not have to complete a new one.

If you entered a number that isn’t correct or valid, you need to complete a new form (for example, if you made a mistake on your number or if you entered all 1s because you did not want your SSN or EIN online).

Is there a deadline for completing the W-9 form?

Please complete an accurate W-9 as soon as you begin earning money on Upwork and before you withdraw funds. We require this form before you withdraw payments because if we don’t have a W-9 on file for you we are required to withhold tax on your earnings on Upwork.

Do I need to complete a W-9 even if I only make a small amount of money on Upwork?

The Internal Revenue Service requires us to collect Tax Identification Numbers (SSN, EIN, or ITIN) for all U.S. taxpayers who receive payments on Upwork, no matter how much you earn. If we do not have your valid SSN, EIN, or ITIN on file, we are required to withhold taxes from your earnings and send them to the IRS.

What happens if I do not complete a Form W-9 with a valid SSN, EIN, or ITIN?

You must complete a Form W-9 with a valid SSN, EIN, or ITIN to be able to withdraw payments from Upwork. Without a valid W-9 on file for you, we are required to comply with IRS regulations and withhold income tax from your future earnings at a pre-set tax rate.

Not completing Form W-9 could also cause a delay in receiving your Form 1099-K from us for any earnings you have already withdrawn this year. You’ll need this form in order to file your tax return in the upcoming tax season.

What happens if I make a mistake when I enter my Form W-9 information?

If the Internal Revenue Service determines an error in your SSN, EIN, or ITIN, we will email you and ask you to correct it.

If you do not correct the information and resubmit your W-9 within 15 days, you may be subject to income tax withholding. The IRS requires us to withhold and submit income taxes on your earnings if we do not have a valid SSN, EIN, or ITIN on file for you.

How do you use the information that I provide on Form W-9?

We only use the form to provide information to the IRS if the IRS requests it. This includes completing a Form 1099-K for you at the end of each tax year if needed.

How do you protect the personal information that I provide on Form W-9?

We take all commercially reasonable steps to protect your information, including encrypting access to our site and the transmission of information. To learn more about how we protect your personal information, please review Upwork’s Privacy Policy in our Terms of Service.

How can I tell if I completed and submitted a section in my tax information?

You’ll see “Completed” in the label beside the Form W-9 section’s title once you’ve completed and submitted your information. If you haven’t done so yet, the label will say “Not completed”.

Where can I find the W-9 that I completed for Upwork?

You can find your completed W-9 in your Settings Tax Forms

How long will you keep my digital forms, including my Form 1099-K, on file?

We will keep your digital forms on file for a minimum of seven years.

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