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  1. #1
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    Collecting W-9 Information From Users

    My site needs to collect W-9s from 100s of users who made $600 or more from our site. We would like to do this via a form interface but are not sure how best to handle the Social Security Number Issue. We obviously cannot store the info on our site, but we do need the info so we can properly file our taxes at the end of the year.

    Does anyone know of 3rd party software that can help us collect and store this information?

    Or does anyone have any suggestions on how we can grab and store the information ourself?

  2. #2
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    You should have their mailing addresses on file (I hope). Just send them a form letter in the mail requesting that they send you one.

  3. #3
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    When you say you don't want to store the info on your site, what exactly do you mean? You don't need to keep it on a database, really. You just need to collect it and doing it using an online form is very convenient. The reason that a paper w9 is so popular is that it's signed with legal language that helps protect you from fraud (by having the signer affirm the validity of the ssn, etc.) but legally you don't need that. You just need to have the correct information to provide to the IRS. You can find rules about this on the IRS site, and there is actually a publication about getting people's tax ID when not using a w9.

    Even if you just did a form that turned into an email and kept the information that way, you could be compliant. At the end of the year, when you have to produce your 1099's etc it would suck to do it manually so if you can import the data into your QuickBooks or other accounting system that would be great. If you do it all using your online system, why not just store it in a hashed database field or something like that? A good DBA should be able to find a way to do it securely.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    You should have their mailing addresses on file (I hope). Just send them a form letter in the mail requesting that they send you one.
    We have them but we're looking to cut down on the admin work that would go into sending it out and tracking it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    When you say you don't want to store the info on your site, what exactly do you mean? You don't need to keep it on a database, really. You just need to collect it and doing it using an online form is very convenient. The reason that a paper w9 is so popular is that it's signed with legal language that helps protect you from fraud (by having the signer affirm the validity of the ssn, etc.) but legally you don't need that. You just need to have the correct information to provide to the IRS. You can find rules about this on the IRS site, and there is actually a publication about getting people's tax ID when not using a w9.

    Even if you just did a form that turned into an email and kept the information that way, you could be compliant. At the end of the year, when you have to produce your 1099's etc it would suck to do it manually so if you can import the data into your QuickBooks or other accounting system that would be great. If you do it all using your online system, why not just store it in a hashed database field or something like that? A good DBA should be able to find a way to do it securely.
    Email is not very secure so we'd be afraid to have SSN passed that way. I guess we're looking to use something like this:

    http://www.verisign.com/products-ser...ces/index.html

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with storing sensitive data with a 3rd party.

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I wasn't suggesting email. I was suggesting traditional mail. (United States Postal Service - preferably certified mail with a return receipt.)

  6. #6
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    Send the form with next payment . If you pay by online payment email them and set up form online and tell them where to mail it or they can not get paid. If you send url so they can print form and addres to mail it to they will if they want to be paid.


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