Why Are Substitute IRS Forms W-4P and W-9 Necessary?

March 4, 2019
Why Are Substitute IRS Forms W-4P and W-9 Necessary?

Have you been caught here? You work with a client to complete a distribution form in order to withdraw funds from their annuity contract. You submit the form and request a rush in processing. Soon after, you receive a phone call from The Standard requesting a Substitute IRS Form W-4P and W-9 (Form 5031) prior to disbursement. The result is frustration for both you and your client. Why is this mystery form required for all disbursements from an annuity policy?

The Standard requires a verified taxpayer identification number (TIN) for any disbursement of funds, as well as for various other actions. Form 5031 provides this verification. In situations where we don't have a verified TIN, the IRS may require us to do backup withholding on the disbursement. We require Form 5031 when the TIN on the request hasn't been verified by an IRS form W-9 or by a Form 5031 submitted with a previous distribution request. Once the taxpayer's TIN is verified, this part of the form isn’t required again.

The second use of this form is to provide tax withholding information. When The Standard receives a disbursement request where the TIN has already been verified and no Form 5031 is included or on file, the default is to withhold Federal taxes and any applicable state taxes. If your client doesn’t want taxes withheld from their disbursement, it’s essential that you submit Form 5031 with the distribution request.

The list below highlights situations where the IRS requires a Form 5031:

  • Surrender
  • Partial Withdrawal
  • Scheduled Payments
  • Annuitization
  • TSA Loans
  • Transfer/Rollover/Exchange
  • Change of Ownership
  • Change of State Residence when receiving scheduled payments
  • Death Claims

For your convenience, The Standard bundles Form 5031 with distribution request forms. If you have any questions about tax forms, please contact our Service Specialists at 800.247.6888 or send us a message

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