The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in every way. Institutions have also had to do their best to keep up with the rapid developments. As a part of that, deadlines have been shifted and more than ever our ways of communication have changed. In the wake of the coronavirus, the United States introduced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), a stimulus bill to help keep the country moving. One element of the CARES act is that you’re now able to send tax forms by fax to get a timely refund. Of course, previously these forms could only be sent by post, and if you have already sent your documents that way you can still fax them to speed up the whole process.
Don’t worry: you don’t need to invest in a fax machine. In fact, online faxing is a far better solution than old-fashioned machine faxing. All you need to do is sign up for an online faxing service (some even include free plans or trials) and you’ll be ready to fax straightaway. If you have doubts about faxing as a method of sending your sensitive tax information, then rest assured that online faxing is incredibly safe as communication is encrypted end to end. However, to ensure that your taxes get to their destination safely there are a few key factors you need to consider.
Follow the Guidelines
As fax is now a less frequent method of communication – mostly used by businesses – it’s likely that many users have never sent a fax before, whether physically or online. Thankfully, many online fax services do their best to create user-friendly interfaces that make sending a fax as easy as sending an email. However, you want to be sure you’re doing everything right when it comes to something as important as your tax documents. Fortunately, a good fax service will offer useful FAQs, guides, and video tutorials to help you through the process.
Get the Fax Number Right
It might seem obvious but sending a fax to the wrong number is a frequent mistake. To make matters worse, accidentally getting one digit of a fax number wrong could put your sensitive data into the wrong hands. One famous example of getting a number wrong was when a pharmaceutical company accidentally sent prescription information to a hotel group – they were lucky it didn’t end up anywhere else. So, make sure to double-check that you’re sending your fax to the correct place. One neat extra feature of online fax services is that they allow you to set up a contact book, so you know you’re sending it to the right recipient every time.
Pick a Secure Service
When you’re sending your tax documents to the IRS by fax you want to make sure you’re doing it securely. Fortunately, most online fax services take security very seriously and will offer encryption to stop your message from being intercepted and read. Indeed, it’s possible to find services that are HIPAA compliant, so you know they follow all the proper protocols to ensure your fax is sent safely.
Keep Your Account Safe
One thing you need to be careful about when sending faxes is who is at the other end to receive them. However, when sending faxes to the IRS this won’t be an issue as it’s a safe environment. There is one thing that can be frequently overlooked: your online faxing account. Your account will keep a copy of your sent faxes, which is a handy feature unless the wrong person sees it. If someone was to access your account, they’d also be able to see all of your sensitive tax data from the messages you’ve sent. So, make sure you use a strong password (ideally using a password manager) when creating your account. If possible, make sure to take advantage of any two-factor authentication a fax service offers, so all your data is completely secure.
Best Online Fax Services of 2020
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