Submitting a W-9

  • Updated

This article includes tips from our team. Visit the IRS instructions for Form W9 for complete instructions and the latest information on filing your W-9.

What is the W-9 Form?

The W-9 form is used in a wide range of payment situations, but most commonly, taxpayers fill them in when they are working as a freelancer or independent contractor rather than an employee. The purpose of collecting the W-9 form is to record your tax identification number, along with your name and address so Patreon can notify the IRS of the amount earned in a calendar year. 

Patreon requires creators to complete the W-9 form once they meet certain earnings thresholds to receive Form 1099-K in a calendar year.

Learn more about earning thresholds that require you to submit a W-9 with Patreon, below.

Do I need to submit a W-9?

Creators who reach $600 in earnings in a calendar year are required to complete a Form W-9 (or W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E). The information you provide on these forms will help determine whether Patreon is required to issue you a Form 1099-K. (For more information on who will receive a Form 1099-K, visit Will I receive a 1099-K form?) Note that regardless of whether you receive a Form 1099-K or not, everyone is responsible for accurately filing their taxes

US law treats US persons and foreign persons differently for tax purposes. Therefore, it is important to be able to distinguish between these two types of taxpayers.

United States Persons –

Complete W-9

Foreign Persons –

Complete W8-BEN

You can review the IRS definition of the term “United States person” below:

  • A citizen or resident of the United States
  • A domestic partnership
  • A domestic corporation
  • Any estate other than a foreign estate
  • Any trust if:
    • A court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust, and
    • One or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust
  • Any other person that is not a foreign person. 

A foreign person includes:

  • Non-resident alien individual
  • Foreign corporation
  • Foreign partnership
  • Foreign trust
  • A foreign estate
  • Any other person that is not a US person

Generally, the US branch of a foreign corporation or partnership is treated as a foreign person. Refer to Internal Revenue Code section 7701(a)(31) for the definition of a foreign estate and a foreign trust.

Want to learn more? This information was taken directly from the IRS website – follow the links below to read more:

I am a US citizen living outside of the US. Which tax form should I fill in?

If you are a US citizen you should fill in a W-9 regardless of your physical location. Your income from Patreon may be subject to 1099 reporting.

How do I submit my W-9? 

To complete a W-9 form for your Patreon, follow the directions below:

  1. Log in to your Patreon account
  2. Click the Settings button in the left menu to open your settings
  3. Click into the Payouts and Taxes tab from the menu bar
  4. Scroll to the Tax settings section at the bottom of the page
  5. Click on the Fill out W-9 form button to access an electronic W-9 form

For detailed instructions on how to complete your W-9 form, we recommend reviewing the IRS instructions for completing your W-9.

What name is required on Patreon’s W-9 form?

Line 1 “Full name”

You must enter one of the following on this line. Do not leave this line blank. The name should match the name on your tax return. 


Generally, enter the name shown on your tax return. If you have changed your last name without informing the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the name change, enter your first name, the last name as shown on your social security card and your new last name. 


Sole proprietor or single-member LLC

Enter your individual name as shown on your 1040/1040A/1040EZ on line 1. You may enter your business, trade or “doing business as” (DBA) name on line 2. 


Partnership, LLC that is not a single-member LLC, C Corporation or S Corporation

Enter the entity’s name as shown on the entity’s tax return on line 1 and any business, trade or DBA name on line 2. 


Other entities

Enter your name as shown on required US federal tax documents on line 1. This name should match the name shown on the charter or other legal document creating the entity. You may enter any business, trade or DBA name on line 2. 


Line 2

If you have a business name, trade name, DBA name or disregarded entity name, you may enter it on line 2. 

Common errors when completing your W-9

Callout The IRS limits three submissions in 24 hours. It is essential that you review the information provided on your W-9 to ensure you are accurately spelling your name, address and tax identification number.

Name and taxpayer ID do not match

If you are a business and your business name is not your personal name, do not include your personal name on your W-9 form. Instead, put your business name on Line 1 “Full name” of the form, and leave Line 2 “Business name (if different from above)” blank.

If you are using your personal Social Security number (SSN) and are not a registered business/company, be sure to put your personal name on Line 1 “Full name” and leave Line 1 “Business name (if different from above)” blank. 

Review the section above for more information on how to fill in Line 1 and Line 2 of your W-9. 

Wrong name or incomplete name

This may happen if the name you entered doesn’t match what the IRS has on record for your SSN, or if there is a small typo in the name entered. Please ensure that the name you submit is your full, legal name, and matches what is shown on your tax return.

Wrong taxpayer ID or Social Security number

When typing a TIN or SSN, do not include the dashes between the number strings. Make sure the number you enter is correct and has exactly nine digits. 

  • A business taxpayer ID (TIN) comes up like XX-XXXXXXX
  • A Social Security number (SSN) comes up like XXX-XX-XXXX

Single Member LLCs

If you have created a business type called a “Single Member Limited Liability Corporation” (“SMLLC”), the IRS requires different information depending on how you set up your business. In some cases, you will be required to input your personal name and SSN. In other cases, you will be required to enter the business name and TIN. Check how your business is set up so that you know which information will be required on your W-9. 

Character limit

If you run out of characters on our W-9 form, shortening your name may result in success. 

What is a USA tax identification number?

ID Type Definition
SSN For USA creators who are individuals/persons — your Social Security Number
EIN Employer Identification Number
ITIN Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
ATIN Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending US Adoptions
PTIN Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number

Is my personal tax information secure on Patreon? 

When submitting your W-9, Patreon will check the information against the IRS database to ensure accuracy. 

Real-Time TIN Verification makes it possible to proactively validate your information and check individual data against the IRS TIN matching database, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list and Death Master File (DMF) as you submit your form. (This is done in real-time, and thus we will let you know if there is a mismatch or problem with the submission.)

All information provided is secure. We encrypt your forms with 2048-bit RSA encryption. 

Each time you want to update your W-9, you will have to submit an entirely new form.

If you have additional tax questions, please feel free to read through our US Creator Frequently Asked Questions guide or contact a local tax professional for further assistance. 

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

What went wrong?