Administrator
Administrator
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130 Comments (130 New)

USAA Community w9 request.jpg

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 irs.gov 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 usaa.com.

 

Where can I update my information?

When reviewing your transactions on usaa.com 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?

130 Comments
Kvinna
New Member

I just received the email demanding the W-9 form on July 11 as well. I have been a USAA member for many years and their customer service has become terrible in the past few years. I canceled my life insurance and car insurance as soon as I realized it was far cheaper to go through other companies. I had two fraudulent charges on my debit card, which in the past were dealt with swiftly and professionally by USAA, but now they issue a "temporary" credit for the stolen funds while they "investigate" the charges. When I contacted customer service about the burden that places on the customer (victim), they were unapologetic and abrupt. There was never any uncertainty before about funds being restored due to a fraudulent charge, but now it's conditional while they "investigate" for months. That is unacceptable to me; if the customer was responsible, your fraud department would soon find out, so why create uncertainty and direct suspicion at your customers? It's a terrible way to treat loyal customers.

 

Now, I receive an email which states "All deposit accounts you are the primary account holder on will be placed into backup withholding if we do not receive your completed, valid W-9 form." As many other have stated, no other financial institution has made this request. The language used in the email is absolutely awful; please hire a contract linguist to improve your communication with customers. People find it threatening and/or think it's phishing; USAA, is this the best you can do?  I tried using the online chat and calling USAA and neither was available. The email dropdown choices no longer include banking, so they have made it extremely difficult to contact someone if you have a concern. All the replies from USAA on this forum have offered no explanation, but have assured folks the concerns will be forwarded, and yet I see posts that are weeks and months old. I just received the same threatening email a few days ago. So clearly, nothing is being done to address the issue and they are simply ignoring members' concerns. USAA, there are far too many other options available to people for you to continue providing abysmal customer service and overpriced services. Your empty assurances are sending a crystal clear message. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

@Kvinna, Thank you for reaching out. This is not how we want anyone to feel. I am forwarding this to a Bank specialist now for review. Sorry for any frustration. ~Tom

Janiec60
New Member

Little confused,  this is my checking account and don't receive interest and my savings is so small I don't receive interest? I didn't mind signing but it is a little Confusing!!


USAA Community w9 request.jpg

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 irs.gov 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 usaa.com.

 

Where can I update my information?

When reviewing your transactions on usaa.com 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?


 

Bobby Wands
New Member

Am I going to Jail? This is my thought after reading the message. 

Andy1631
New Member

Reading this blog was more helpful than my recent inquiry via telephone as to why I was being asked for an updated W9. In the end, I was told they don't know why I was sent an email as it looks like they had everything they needed. I too, thought this was a phishing attempt and did not click on the email link. When I logged on to pay bills, I got the message asking me to sign an updated W9. Then, when I tried to find the message that I had received, it was not shown under 'messages' in my profile. USAA could do a better job at communicating with their customers.

YOUESAA IS GARBAGE
Occasional Visitor

USAA - I am filing an official complaint with the FDIC, IRS, and BBB. Furthermore, I am changing my direct deposit to direct all of my deposits to NFCU. So, you have effectively lost all of my business. I encourage and hope more customers who are frustrated as I am, will follow my lead and do the same. 

 

People have been complaining about this issue since at the very least, April, of this year, and all I've seen is lip service from USAA ("we'll have our subject matter expert look into this"). 

 

So long USAA - it's been...a disaster.

Squidward2
New Member

I have been a member since 2008 and never had this issue with USAA.  The form pops up when you access the app with no expanation and, after making sure it was legit, I signed it.  Then, the next time I accessed the app, it popped up again, so this time I signed it and took a screenshot to show I did it.  And just now, I received an email telling me I need to sign it agin.  Ugh! How many times do I need to sign this thing?  So I called to see what the issue was and the rep basically read a script but didn't really know anything about it.  I asked if I needed to sign one for each account and she said I only needed it for 2 accounts.  I told her I had already signed it 3 times and she asked if it was on the app or online.  When I told her that I had done it on the app, she said you can't do it on the app and I asked why it would pop up on the app if you can't do it that way.  Why on earth would it not just tell you that you need to go to the website and sign it?  Then I read the email to her where it actually says you can do it on the app.  UGH! So, while on the phone with her, I went online and did it 3 more times and asked if that would cover it?  She said she could see them now and that I was good to go.  What a mess.  No information saying which accounts you need one for or that you might need to sign multiple copies.  Customer service apparently got no training on this and were just reading a script.  So unprofessional.

4numbersorless
Contributor

Just got off the phone with USAA...

1) I was told the IRS would take my account if I didn't sign the W9, I asked to speak with someone else after they said they didn't really know why USAA needed the form or what it was for.

2) The second person I spoke with said USAA would close my account before correcting themselves. I asked if my other accounts were in good standing to which they said yes. I clarified that the penalty for not having a W-9 on file was an IRS witholding of 24% of the interest earned on the account in question, to which the representative told me there had been no interest earned YTD. 

 

Easy enough USAA, I won't keep in funds in the one account. Upon further reading & research:

 

"Certain financial institutions that pay you dividends, interest, or some other kind of income might require a W9 form, but that's often unnecessary, as they should have obtained your Social Security number and address when you opened your account."

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2015/05/20/what-is-a-w9.aspx

 

It seems likely that this was a very poor execution by USAA to verify customer information (for some unknown reason). They don't need to verify my social, name or address with a W-9 and the IRS does not require USAA to collect a W-9. I've already moved my investment & insurance accounts elsewhere as USAA is lacking in those departments too. I'm not seeing much upside to only banking with USAA anymore. 

4numbersorless
Contributor

As a follow-up to my last post...

 

No where on the From W-9 does it reference a single account in which the form is to be applied. So USAA, if you have one on file, and I haven't changed my address, name or social then you don't need another one. Literally per the IRS. "you must furnish a new Form W-9 if the name or TIN changes for the account"

 

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf

 

Form W-9
(Rev. October 2018)
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Request for Taxpayer
Identification Number and Certification
▶ Go to www.irs.gov/FormW9 for instructions and the latest information.
Give Form to the
requester. Do not
send to the IRS.
Print or type.
See Specific Instructions on page 3.
1 Name (as shown on your income tax return). Name is required on this line; do not leave this line blank.
2 Business name/disregarded entity name, if different from above
3 Check appropriate box for federal tax classification of the person whose name is entered on line 1. Check only one of the
following seven boxes.
Individual/sole proprietor or
single-member LLC
C Corporation S Corporation Partnership Trust/estate
Limited liability company. Enter the tax classification (C=C corporation, S=S corporation, P=Partnership) ▶
Note: Check the appropriate box in the line above for the tax classification of the single-member owner. Do not check
LLC if the LLC is classified as a single-member LLC that is disregarded from the owner unless the owner of the LLC is
another LLC that is not disregarded from the owner for U.S. federal tax purposes. Otherwise, a single-member LLC that
is disregarded from the owner should check the appropriate box for the tax classification of its owner.
Other (see instructions) ▶
4 Exemptions (codes apply only to
certain entities, not individuals; see
instructions on page 3):
Exempt payee code (if any)
Exemption from FATCA reporting
code (if any)
(Applies to accounts maintained outside the U.S.)
5 Address (number, street, and apt. or suite no.) See instructions.
6 City, state, and ZIP code
Requester’s name and address (optional)
7 List account number(s) here (optional)
Part I Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
Enter your TIN in the appropriate box. The TIN provided must match the name given on line 1 to avoid
backup withholding. For individuals, this is generally your social security number (SSN). However, for a
resident alien, sole proprietor, or disregarded entity, see the instructions for Part I, later. For other
entities, it is your employer identification number (EIN). If you do not have a number, see How to get a
TIN, later.
Note: If the account is in more than one name, see the instructions for line 1. Also see What Name and
Number To Give the Requester for guidelines on whose number to enter.
Social security number
– –
or
Employer identification number

Part II Certification
Under penalties of perjury, I certify that:
1. The number shown on this form is my correct taxpayer identification number (or I am waiting for a number to be issued to me); and
2. I am not subject to backup withholding because: (a) I am exempt from backup withholding, or (b) I have not been notified by the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) that I am subject to backup withholding as a result of a failure to report all interest or dividends, or (c) the IRS has notified me that I am
no longer subject to backup withholding; and
3. I am a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person (defined below); and
4. The FATCA code(s) entered on this form (if any) indicating that I am exempt from FATCA reporting is correct.
Certification instructions. You must cross out item 2 above if you have been notified by the IRS that you are currently subject to backup withholding because
you have failed to report all interest and dividends on your tax return. For real estate transactions, item 2 does not apply. For mortgage interest paid,
acquisition or abandonment of secured property, cancellation of debt, contributions to an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), and generally, payments
other than interest and dividends, you are not required to sign the certification, but you must provide your correct TIN. See the instructions for Part II, later.
Sign
Here Signature of
U.S. person ▶ Date ▶

W9 demand
New Member

This W9 request by USAA appears to neither follow the IRS rules nor the W9 form rules.  USAA is not providing a way to electronically sign their verision of the W9 and there is no address to mail the IRS W9 form.  The following letter was sent to USAA Federal Savings Bank with no response - 

 

Please provide the IRS Tax Code number and section as well as the Texas Statues allowing a business to directly deal with and require legal documents to be signed by a minor.

It has come to my attention that my minor son, aged 12, is required to submit an IRS Form W-9 to allow backup withholdings from his Youth Savings Account with USAA. Additionally, USAA has taken money each month from his saving account from January to July 2019. My son does not own a business and therefore is not required to submit a W-9 form; neither is he subject to any tax withholdings from the IRS. Additionally, he is not legally allowed to sign this form.

If USAA claims that USAA sent a required form to my son to complete the W-9 then when was it sent, how was it sent, and why were his parents not notified of the request ?

The documents sent by USAA yesterday are not legitimate W-9 forms. Therefore they can not be used to satisfy any alleged requirements by the IRS.

Finally, please return the money removed from my son’s Youth Savings Account before the next statement cycle.

Your Faithful Member since 1990

 

USAA Bank claims that all documents for my son were sent through my son's USAA account in the documents section.  Although he has a USAA member number, he does not have an account with a electronic documents section.  Then USAA Bank claimed the information was sent in May 2018 through a disclosure booklet.  Still not true.  

 

I wish USAA would be consistent to us on what is really going on and stop taking money out of his account.  Additionally, when my wife called to get the W9 form sent to us, USAA shut down her accounts, debit and credit cards.  How nice..........