144 Comments (144 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 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?


I can see from other posts months ago that there has been expressed concern over the tone of the notification email. This is August and the email apparently is the same received by others. I concur that it appears threatening. More to the point, as a federal employee and former military dependent, my personal information has been compromised multiple times. To send an email that appears to threaten without a follow up letter and vague statements should not be how business is done. Instead of continuing to state this will change, real change should take place. Just my two cents. Thank you for your time.

Occasional Visitor

To USAA and then to PopGoesTheWeasel (below),


I have a no interest checking account.  I don't need to sign this form and I didn't appreciate the methods used to ask me to sign this form.  None of my other bank accounts from other companies require me to have this form. I also don't appreciate being told what you will do with MY money and account if I don't sign this form.




Guess what - I closed my account.  Why are you even here whining about people with a legitimate concern?  Do you work for the bank or something?  If I was them I would ban your forum account.  It certainly didn't help them retain my account. 


New Member

I just got off chat with USAA and the explanation ended with "if you don't sign the w-9 you won't get a 1099".  That cannot possibly be correct.  We've been with USAA for 20+ years and have never had such an issue.


Could USAA please post something as why this is being requested now?  What has changed?  And which accounts?  We have several.


The representative said something about it only being applicable to interest which is laughable because that amounts to maybe $10 a year.



Occasional Contributor

I simply don't have enough time to read all 10 pages of comments on this, but I received a W-9 for my teenager who is still a minor (he has a teen checking account).  Doesn't he have to be 18 before a W-9 even applies to him?  Am I supposed to sign on his behalf?


Thanks USAA for asking me to fill out and update a W-9, according to IRS.GOV this is what a W-9 is for:

Use Form W-9 to provide your correct TIN to the person who is required to file an information return with the IRS to report, for example,

  • income paid to you -(My empoyer will provide me with a W-2)
  • real estate transactions - (Have no real estate loans with USAA)
  • mortgage interest you paid - (Again no loans of this type)
  • acquisition or abandonment of secured property - (Does not apply to me)
  • cancellation of debt - (Have none of these as well)
  • contributions you made to an IRA - (Don't have an IRA)

Knowing all of this why do you need a W-9 from me.


I hate USAA I believe all they do is take advantage of military members buy having high insurance cost (switch to geico and saved 50%), does not let members have control of their own accounts, their customer service is a joke, I received a call back about an issue I had they left a voice message with a call back number and extention called them back and left 3 voice messages they cared so much as to never call me back.  I can not wait to switch banks.


Why is the mobile app asking about this?  U guys have no branches so this lazy and unprofessional.  Is this some kind of retaliation for questioning the motives of USAA advertising?  I think either have branches and require a visit to clarify, otherwise leave those issues to the IRS and respond as directed by the IRS.  Really getting sick of the constant decline in USAA service, professionalism and value of products offered.

New Member

I am a coprorate tax attorney. Among my clients are actual banks (WF, BoA, GS, JPM, DB). I have an advanced degree in taxation. So I can say with authority that there is no reason for a bank to request a W9 from longtime costumers. There has been no change in law. There have been no new regulations promulgated. The only reason I can think of is that USAA lost its own customer data, or that this is a phishing scam. Which is it, USAA? 

After being a customer for more than 15 years I dropped my USAA auto insurance after USAA canceled my policy without notice or warning, claiming that I failed to provide them with a new car inspection. Nevermind that I had provided the new car inspection to them when I purchased the car THREE YEARS earlier. 

Now it looks like I'll be dropping my banking, too. Your customer service has declined so much in recent years--maybe you should focus more on your business than on your advertising. Maybe find a little honor while you're at it and stop exploiting veterans. Shame on you all. 

I have read 97 comments on this topic. And fully share the frustration and disappointment with my fellow customers. I just called Ent Federal and they 1) agree the W9 is not necessary, not appropriate nor required and 2) they do not and will not require a W9 form; as it is not necessary or required to do business. USeheh has stepped way over the line with this. I cannot even see my checking and saving accounts online because they are FORCING me sign unnecessary forms which are demanding PII information they already have. They have also withdrawn money from my savings account without my permission; they call it 'withholding'. I spoke to Lewis (nice enough guy) on the phone and said they are legally required to force the W9. Otherwise they will "withhold". This is USeheh's voluntary policy; to screw with our brothers and sisters in harm's way. And p.s. my home owners insureance has gone up 300% in 4 years and my auto insurance is 30% above average. I would say we all agree this issue has 'poked the bear'.

Occasional Visitor

Email from USAA:

"Thank you for choosing us for your banking needs. To remain compliant with IRS regulations and avoid placing your account into backup withholding, we need you to complete a new Tax Certification (W-9) form. This will be our only communication to inform you that a new W-9 form is needed. 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."


 The email from USAA about this was alarming and threatening and a big fat LIE!.  Really?! You're going to withold taxes on ALL my accounts even tho I am not subject to backup witholding per the IRS?! I suspected a phishing attempt but no, this was really sent by USAA!  I called about this today and the USAA rep (Ethan) said yes this was indeed an official USAA mailing but...  I didn't have to fill out the W-9 but that if I did not the IRS could withold taxes from my account.  Oh what a relief! USAA won't be arbitrarily deducting backup witholding taxes from all my accounts!  He said filling it out would tell the IRS they could not withold taxes.  (seriously?)  From what I read on the web about backup witholding taxes, this does not affect me (as well as any other member) and USAA certainly does not have the authority to arbitrarily deduct taxes. Also seems like the USAA reps aren't too well versed on the subject.  When questioned further he was evasive.  Been with USAA for 40 years now.  I'm pretty sure my W-9 is on file already why is USAA asking for another?  Be glad to sign when I get the straight poop.  NOTE: this will be my only communication to inform USAA that an explanation and apology is needed for threatening to withold taxes from all my accounts if I do not update my W-9.  (I'll be looking for a more trustworthy bank otherwise...sieg heil USAA)

Occasional Visitor

I think USAA lost everyone's W-9 in a security breach hacking.