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Community users have been posting about a request to update their W-9 forms and we wanted to provide some additional information.


What is a Tax Certification (W-9 form)?

A Tax Certification (W-9 form) is a form that certifies member’s tax payer information (name and social security number). For more information on W-9 form, visit website.


Why am I being asked to update my W-9?

To ensure our members’ tax reporting information is up to date, accurate and reported correctly to the IRS, USAA may ask members to update their W-9 forms. We want to make sure we have the most accurate tax information on file. To assist with completing the W-9, we have created a digital option which allows for the document to be easily and quickly completed online.  If your account is eligible for the digital option, you should be prompted when reviewing your transactions on


Where can I update my information?

When reviewing your transactions on you should receive a “digital detour” that will prompt you to sign the required form. This is also available on mobile. If you do not see the prompt on mobile, make sure to update your device with the latest version of the USAA mobile app.


What if I do not see the prompt?

Not all members are being asked to update their W9. Those members will not see the “digital detour”.

Or, your account is not eligible for digital detour. If your account is not eligible for digital detour, you will receive a W-9 form in the mail. If you prefer the W-9 form mailed to you, please call us at 800-531-USAA (8722).


Do you have any other questions we can help answer regarding the W-9 update request?

Occasional Visitor

I feel discriminated


My information has been kept up-to-date been banking with USAA since 2003.  My information was collected when I first open my account and I never make more than 2 dollars on interest.  USAA has never provided me an 1099N also. "Yet I was selected to update the W9" This W9 verifies your ssn and citizenship, I believe that I was selected because my name is Latino.

USAA Social Service
USAA Service
USAA Service

@Unsatisfiedcustomer2, I understand your concern regarding this matter. I will engage a subject matter expert for further handling. We will follow up with you. Thank you for posting. - Ben 


What the h-ll is this?


The email I received could not have been written in a more aggressive, phishing style.


Then when you log in, there is ZERO indication you need to take action unless you happen to click on your account details.


If this is something as critical as USAA says it is, CALL OR WRITE your members.  DO NOT send threatening emails when your members have done absolutely notthing wrong.

Occasional Visitor

Today I received this same email.  I believed it to be a phishing scam and forwarded it to  I followed up with a phone call to USAA to validate the requirement to complete/update a W9, and the phone representative was completely unfamiliar with it.  Having been a USAA member since the early '80s, I am deeply disturbed by the tone of the email now that I am realizing it is in fact from USAA.  I hope the folks at USAA are listening.  I also noted from previous posts that if W9 updating is required, I would be redirected while logged into the website.  Unfortunately, this has not occurred for me, and I see no messages or notifications on the subject when I log on.  Would someone at USAA please make this right?

Occasional Visitor

My first awareness of this poorly-implemented notification was when I looked in on my checking account yesterday.  Like others, I took steps to verify that it wasn't a scam.  Once satisfied that it was the real deal, I went ahead and e-signed the thing.  I trusted that the matter was retired.  Well, this morning there's an email from USAA (yep, you guessed it!): "IRS Information Required: Send Updated W-9 to USAA".

I'm gobsmacked.

I've been a loyal USAA member for over 4 decades and long believed there was no finer institution for all of my banking and insurance needs.  It's just a shame that they've dropped the ball so many ways in recent years.  Numerous times I've considered taking my business elsewhere, but the hassle outweighs any benefit.

New Member

Just got the same threatening email and after spending almost an hour on the phone with USAA Banking it is clear they are not sure why this information is being requested e customers.  I don’t like getting threatening emails stating “do this or else”, it is not a very professional way to communicate with customers that have existed for over 30 years.  And the funny thing is when you call USAA they ask for information about the person calling and the first thing they ask for is your account number then your SSN then thy want to send a code to your phone for verification then your pin, all this to verify they are speaking to the actual person on the account.  Bottom line YOU ALREADY HAVE MY SSN and your records are correct, my SSN is not something that has ever changed in over 50 years so why do your records need to be updated?  Hear is my threat to USAA, answer the questions your clusters have asked on this site or “ELSE you will loose customers” and may be out of the banking business.

Occasional Visitor



I couldn't agree with you more! My husband and I have been doing business with USAA for 20 years. I've had a few unsavory customer services experiences with them down through the years, but nothing too major. I received the same request for a W-9 and same THREATENING email from them. When I called to ask about it, I spoke to a young lady - reluctantly, I will withhold her name - who got hot under the collar when her answers weren't making logical sense to me and I continued to question the necessity of this form AND when I seemed to know more about the form than she did. I don't know if someone told her to tone it down, but SUDDENLY she became more calm and flatly told me she had answered my questions and concerns and that was all she needed to do. WOW! During our conversation she bludgeoned me and tried to frighten me with the withholding scenario, as well, but then proceeded to tell me that USAA had tried in past years to get me to sign this form and that all these requests were in my Documents folder. When she failed to send me the documents I requested pertaining to these past requests, I put off necessary things I needed to get done for the day to go through the documents from the years she mentioned pertaining to our Savings account (the only account for which this information is being requested). And NOT ONE document did I find asking for the W-9 information! Hmmm....probably because I filled out all the necessary documents when I opened the account. Unfortunately, I am unable to see documents as far back as when my account was first opened. And it's easy for them to see, based on my other accounts, that my SSN and address hasn't changed. Now, if they have requested this document in the past, and obviously, I haven't filled it out numerous times, it's pretty suspicious to me as to why they would start throwing around withholding nonsense when they haven't done it in the past. Like others with the same concerns, I have major problems handing over documentation with information that the bank ALREADY has without a solid explanation as to the purpose of this request, especially when this document is used most primarily for freelance and independent contractors to fill out and give to the companies for whom they have performed work and gotten paid so the company can file the money to the IRS they paid to the contractor for his/her services. AND, of course, it doesn't make me feel ONE BIT good about confirming scat with USAA when they resort to threatening means to intimidate, pressure, and force their customers into compliance, without a good explanation! I'm not too happy with USAA, right now, anyway, and this baseless form request, coupled with hot-headed customer service reps and threatening emails files USAA closer to despensable. Although, this wasn't the first threatening response that USAA has fired off. Another one that nearly made us dump USAA was the baloney letter they sent to us customers blaming the state and residents after a few hurricanes when the state wouldn't let them increase its customers' homeowner's insurance rates by an obnoxious and astromomical 53%! That's when they dumped all our homeowner's insurances. Funny, I've not heard they've dumped other states that suffer extreme catostrophic losses from nature. You can't tell me they pay out to our state any more than those, especially California. 


Like one of the other posters comments about how USAA cut off his card without notice, a similar thing recently happened to my husband. USAA has full knowledge that he is deployed, but, yet, they are so enlightened that they sent him a new debit card to our HOUSE with an insert with the bogus explanation of fraudelent activity, though the new card was NEVER requested (BTW, no fraudelent activity was ever noted). Then, the ATM terminal oversees he tried to get money from, ate his card. After getting in touch with USAA, they told him they were updating all their customers' debit cards (funny, no mention about fraudulent activity), however, I have not received a new card, though. This put him in a hardship, as he was trying not to have to use his credit card while he was there. It took a month for his new card to arrive to him, oversees!!! In the meantime, he was forced to use his credit card. And what do credit cards charge you? Interest on all your purchases if you don't or can't pay them off at the end of the month. USAA used to be better than this! Personally, I think it was a pretty nasty move on USAA's part.


I used to think USAA was honest and forthcoming and armed its representatives with the same trustworthy information, but I have, now, learned, based on my and other's experiences, that they seem to be no different than any other institution that will feed its customers a plethora of jibber jabber as long as the customer will buy it, in an effort to sometimes hide the actual God's Honest Truth. USAA can try to defend itself, but I've been around a while and I have worked on projects for several industry leading "upstanding" companies as a customer service representative, myself, and they ALL tell the representatives what to tell the customers when they are trying to groom people into releasing the requested information people would not normally freely give to gain knowledge for the company's phising benefit and they don't want to tell the customers the honest truth of the purpose for the intrusion or because it might be increminating for the company, among many other scenarios. And that's the God's Honest Truth!

USAA Social Service
USAA Service
USAA Service

@free-spirited, we never want our members to feel this way. I will engage an account specialist to look into this further. 

Frequent Visitor

I also found thought this to be a phishing scam at first.  Eventually I stopped ignoring it and I called USAA and the representative verified it was not a scam.  However, she could not properly explain why USAA is asking for a W9 Backup Withholding verification, other than the scripted answer of "IRS requires it".  Interesting in that my brother has 5 bank accounts (with 3 different banks) my wife has 2 bank accounts (with 2 different banks) and I have 3 other bank accounts (with 3 other banks) and not one other financial/banking institution is or has ever requested this information that USAA is requesting.  Doesn't that seem very odd?


In addition, USAA requested this information in a very unprofessional manner.  I get this "warning" email and a "warning" when I log on about my "account will be frozen" if I did not complete this document.  I don't react well to threats, as my first notion was to say, "well okay then I'll just close my account and move my banking to another bank".  USAA should have contacted every member with an official notification, with a detailed and easy to understand explanation about why they were asking for an Updated W9, and explained the "withholding" verbage.  The reason everyone is so surprised and put out by this is because it is ONLY USAA requesting this.  I've asked many people about this and not one other person, who does not bank with USAA, has been asked this from their bank or financial institution.  Doesn't that also seem odd to anyone else?  It sure seems odd to USAA members.  I've been a USAA member for almost 4 decades and this situation was very surprising to seems "fishy" to many members.

USAA Social Service
USAA Service
USAA Service

@TimNT, thank you for this feedback. I understand your cause for concern and the importance of this. I will have your feedback submitted on your behalf. ~ Sam