The IRS gets flack for a lot of reasons but one recent article regarding the IRS use of fax machines is misleading. Yes, everyone knows that old physical fax machines are dated and the migration of many legacy machines to newer Fax to Email services are commonplace but the IRS still utilizes fax technology because it just works and is more secure. Whereas emails can get stuck in spam filters or never make it there because of a mistyped email address, fax provides a confirmation and security that email cannot easily mimic.
Fax is more secure by design.
Email’s can be intercepted, injected and loaded with malware in transit whereas the technology level needed to intercept a fax communication and alter or change it would be tremendously difficult and thus is not an active target by criminals and hackers.
Faxing and the IRS
Should you be audited or the IRS requires more information from you to process your return you are far safer faxing that information to the IRS vs emailing it or using postal mail. If you value your privacy then utilizing Fax services will prevent snooping by hackers of sensitive financial and legal information. Email’s, unless manually encrypted, can be intercepted. If someone were to try to intercept a fax transmission they would mostly see just static noise.
This is why HIPAA (Medical document handling regulations) favor fax over email. Until email and online solutions up their game and provide better security; fax is here to stay.