A Wizard to Help You Help Vendors Help You!
Getting a tax ID from new vendors is an important part of vendor onboarding. Best practice is to get it up front. And the best way for the vendor to provide its tax ID and tax classification is to complete and submit it to you on an IRS form with the requisite information, namely IRS form W-9. Or is it the 8233? Or W-8BEN, or the W-8BEN-E? Or maybe the W-8ECI, … EXP, … or IMY? Oh my!
It’s not surprising that your new vendor might not know which form to fill out for you. For that matter, do you know which form is the correct one?
If the vendor is a U.S. entity subject to payment reporting, you probably know they should submit a W-9. But if the vendor is a non-resident alien, should they complete a W-8BEN or an 8233, for example? (You are clear on the uses of each, right?) And what if they are a foreign vendor? How likely are they to know what form to use? Do you know which form they should use?
(Have you ever had to send back the form they provided because it was the wrong one? Or they filled it out incorrectly?)
The IRS forms have always been challenging to understand, though the agency does try to make them and the instructions for them clear. But since FATCA took effect in the summer of 2014, it has gotten more complicated. Foreign tax forms in particular have become a lot more complex than they already were. Consider that the W-8BEN has split into the BEN and the BEN-E, and just look at the number of pages in the W-8BEN-E form!
What’s a vendor to do? For that matter, what are you to do?
It would be really handy if there were an easy way for vendors to provide you a tax ID form, an easy way for them to access, complete and submit a W-9 (electronically so you don’t have to rekey it). That’d be great, right?
Of course, what if they are foreign? (And English is a second language?) They don’t know a W-4 from a W-8. Have you looked at the W-8BEN-E? So it would be even handier if there were an easy way for vendors to get the right form, complete it and provide it to you electronically.
Further, once they get to the right form, you might wish there was a way to guide them to the right sections of the form to complete, skipping the sections that don’t apply, and saving them time.
Now that would be really handy.
The Wizard of Odd Forms
Good news: It exists! InvoiceInfo’s vendor onboarding portal not only offers vendors the digital tax ID forms (with the ability to download or complete them online). It has a wizard that walks a vendor through a series of questions and guides them, first to the correct tax form and then, for complex forms like the W-8BEN-E, to the correct sections they should complete.
The InvoiceInfo W-8 and W-9 wizard is a way you can help your vendors by making it easy to complete the right parts of the right form. And that helps you because you get the right information, digitally. Win-win!
Interested in learning more about VendorInfo’s self-service portal tax form wizard? Call (678) 335-5735 today or request information!