Over the past nine months, the IRS received multiple complaints about the recently released W-9 (Rev. Jan 2011). Criticism centered on the tax classification area, where the word, required, was added. This led filers to believe that the tax classification section was mandatory, where, in fact, it is not.
Due to the high number of complaints, the IRS released a new version of the W-9 (Rev. Dec 2011), which is available now and should be used from six months of its release date.
For the new form, go to http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf.