Form W-9

What is a Form W-9?

IRS Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, is a one-page IRS tax information form that a U.S. person (or U.S. resident alien) can use to provide and certify the correct Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to Coinbase. Your Form W-9 is not sent to the IRS. Rather, Coinbase will use the tax information provided on the form to ensure accurate tax information reporting to the IRS (as applicable).  

You can get a pdf version of Form W-9 with instructions from the IRS website.

Why do I need to complete a Form W-9?

A Form W-9 allows you as a U.S. person (or U.S. resident alien) to certify to Coinbase not only your name and TIN, but also that you are not subject to U.S. backup withholding tax, and that for U.S. tax purposes you are a U.S. person, including a U.S. resident alien.

Certain activities on Coinbase are taxable and require that Coinbase issue a Form 1099 to you in connection with the activity. Sometimes we may require you to first provide a W-9 in order to participate in these activities. Additionally, you can choose to provide a W-9 proactively to ensure accurate information is used for any tax reporting. We expect the IRS to require reporting of certain crypto activities in the future. When this happens, you will need to verify your personal info with the IRS through this form to prevent backup withholding. You can get started early by completing this now within the Tax Center.

Keep up with what’s new in US crypto tax regulation.

What if my information changes in the future?

You can always update your information under your Tax profile in Tax Settings. Always keep your address, legal name, and TIN up to date.

I completed my Form W-9 but it was returned to me with an “Invalid” status, why?

A Form W-9 with “Invalid” status means that some piece of information on the form is incorrect and we require you to correct and provide an updated Form W-9.  Possible reasons why the information provided may be incorrect:

  • The name you provided on the form is not the same name as listed with the Social Security Administration or IRS. Please ensure the name you provide on the Form W-9 is spelled the same way as on your Social Security card or ITIN application, including any suffixes (e.g., Armstrong III, Armstrong Jr., etc).  

  • The TIN you provided on the form is not the same TIN as listed with the Social Security Administration or IRS. Please ensure the TIN you provide on the Form W-9 is listed the same way as on your Social Security card or ITIN application.

For more information, including how to contact the Social Security Administration, see here.

What is a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)?

A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. For an individual, a TIN is either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

A SSN is a tax processing number issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. TIN but who either do not have or are ineligible to obtain a SSN from the SSA.

For more information, including how to contact the Social Security Administration, see here.

How does Coinbase use my data?

Coinbase will use the certified TIN and other information on the Form W-9, such as your name and address, to ensure accurate tax information reporting to the IRS of taxable income amounts paid by Coinbase to you (as applicable).

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