Difference between a w9, a w4 and a w2

1 minute read

Paying taxes is not a simple task. You have to be sure that you are paying the right amount and that you are filling out the right form. These forms have some similarities, and that is what makes them hard to identify. That is why we are here. In this article you will find everything about the W2, W4 and W9 forms, and you will be able to identify the differences between those forms so you can correctly do your tax report.


The W2 form includes personal information like your Social Security Number, employer ID number and details related to your income, like the amount of taxes (both federal and state taxes) and Medicare withheld from your paychecks, as well as your salary. This form can be filled online or by paper by April 15 of each year. It is crucial that the W2 form is filled out correctly for employees to know how much taxes were taken from their salary.


The W4 form lets employers know how much money they have to withhold from the paycheck of their employees. On the other hand, employees find this form useful to avoid overpaying taxes. Employers can also declare that a certain employee is exempt from withholdings using this form.


The W9 form is used to determine the paychecks of the employees and the amount of withholdings on their taxes. In other words, this form is used to determine the payroll of the employees. To fill this form, a taxpayer ID number is necessary. The information included in this form is your name, your tax classification and information regarding if you are operating a business or not.


As an employee, you need to fill the W4 or W9 form to let the payroll department of a company know how much money to withhold as tax from your earned income. At the end of every year you will then need to fill the W2 form, which will be provided by your employer. 

To know which form you have to fill out between the W4 and W9, you have to know if you are an employee of the company or an independent contractor. Employees fill out the W4 form and independent contractors have to fill the W9 form.


Arturo Mendez

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