How to File Your Taxes Online Safely in 2022

Oh no, it’s that time of year again – tax season. It’s time to get out the calculator and run through the complex instructions of the Internet Revenue Service (IRS)! You might get a nice tax return, but if you’re not careful, you could be a victim of fraud.

Most people file their returns online, making this month a virtual playground for cybercriminals trying to steal your identity or financial information. Tax season is frustrating enough – don’t let a cybercriminal turn it into a living nightmare.

The best way to deposit securely is to subscribe to Private Internet Access (PIA) virtual private network (VPN). We’ve spent the last decade perfecting our VPN to give you ultimate privacy, especially during tax season.

Keep reading to learn how to file your taxes online without worrying about scams or malicious third parties. The IRS is the only thing you should worry about!

How to know if you need to file a tax return

Stressed person carrying a bag full of money labeled tax in a wheelbarrow.
Are accountants stressed out during tax season, or is it just us regular people?

If you made money in 2021, you will most likely need to file a tax return. This is true whether you earned your income through regular employment, self-employment, a contract, or running your own business. This is also true if you were unemployed but received unemployment benefits or a COVID-19 stimulus check.

That said, the IRS has a few exceptions. If you fall into these categories, congratulations, you’re avoiding tax season:

  • If you are a dependent (meaning someone, probably your relative, claims you on their tax return) and you earn less than $1,100.
  • If you are not a dependent and earn less than the standard deduction ($12,500), unless you are self-employed.
  • If you only receive social security benefits and earn no other income. In some cases, you may still have to pay taxes. Online software like TurboTax can help you determine if you should pay Social Security taxes.

Need to file a tax return? See below for how to file your taxes online safely with the PIA VPN.

State Taxes vs. Federal Taxes

The feds aren’t the only ones who want a pay cut. Your state also levies taxes on your income. Like your federal return, you will get a state tax return.

Tax codes vary from state to state, so things get confusing when you start your state taxes. This is one of the reasons why people prefer to use online software like Turbotax.

Between federal and state taxes, you’ll be sending digital information all over the internet, giving cybercriminals plenty of opportunities to steal your data.

Without a VPN, malicious third parties will have carte blanche to impersonate you or commit fraud. Connect to a PIA server to automatically encrypt your data and make your financial information unreadable to curious third parties.

How can I declare my taxes as an individual?

You can file your taxes by old-fashioned mail or online. Paper filing is safer, but much more difficult. You will need to print all forms, fill them out and perform calculations by hand. If you choose this option, you will probably need an accountant to help you.

Filing online is much easier. The IRS has online tools and private companies offer commercial options. Turbotax is the most popular. Unfortunately, e-filing exposes you to malicious third parties and the risk of your data being stolen. If your data is not encrypted, any fraudster can view it.

Subscribe to PIA and get the best of both worlds. Take advantage of the ease of electronic production while securing your data.

How do I file my taxes?

Ready to deposit? Gather all your documents and follow this step-by-step process to file your taxes safely.

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File in the United States

  1. Determine if you need to file a tax return. See the section above for that.
  2. Gather all your tax documents.
  3. Determine your filing status. The IRS has five filing statuses: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, unmarried head of household, or eligible widow or widower with a dependent child.
  4. If you want deposit manually by mailFollow these steps:
    1. Go to your library and pick up your tax forms.
    2. Follow the instructions on the forms.
    3. Determine how much you owe.
    4. Attach all relevant documents to your tax forms.
    5. Mail your tax forms.
    6. Pay online or by mail.
  5. If you want file electronically (which we recommend), follow these steps:
    1. Choose IRS-approved tax software like TurboTax or H&R Block. Many of them allow you to file online. You can also use the official IRS Free File system if you qualify.
    2. Be sure to fill in securely. Use PIA VPNmake sure your device is free of malware and use a secure connection.
    3. Follow the step by step process in the software.
    4. Print your documents and send them by mail or e-file via the software.
    5. Collect your refund or pay your taxes electronically or by mail.

File as a US expat

To live abroad? Uncle Sam still wants your taxes! Here’s how you can file your taxes if you’re not currently in the United States.

  1. Choose IRS approved tax software, IRS Free File or request US tax documentation. The filing process is still the same if you are an expat – you will report your income as foreign income. We recommend IRS-approved tax software; it will guide you through the process.
  2. Be sure to use a VPN. Spying on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is the norm in most countries. You don’t want to expose your US earnings to third parties. If you forget to encrypt your data with a VPN, anyone watching can see your financial information.
  3. Collect your refund or pay your taxes electronically or by mail.

How do I file my taxes over an unsecured connection?

Don’t trust unsecured connections like public Wi-Fi to protect your tax information, especially if you’re filing your taxes on the go.

Use a VPN to protect your information. A VPN is a network of private servers that allows you to route your traffic through a secure server. The server encrypts your data and you get a new IP address from the server location. Third parties and cyber criminals can’t read the encrypted data, so you won’t have to worry about someone stealing your information.

Even if you’re not on an unsecured network, a VPN is still a good idea. You can never be too careful, especially during tax time.

How PIA VPN protects your data

Subscribe to PIA and get industry-leading protection this tax season. We are constantly working to make our VPN the most secure tool for your privacy needs. PIA offers you:

  • A strict no-logs policy: We will never log what you do while connected to a PIA server, including the financial information you transfer. The only data we will ever collect is whether the VPN is working (i.e. whether a connection was established or dropped.) That’s it.
  • Rock-solid encryption: Choose AES-128 or AES-256 encryption, or no encryption. This way you can control the trade-off between encryption and connection speed.
  • VPN flexibility: Choose between multiple remote and local ports. Plus, we let you choose your own domain name server (DNS) so you can customize your protection to suit your needs.
  • Ultra-fast speeds: Take advantage of NextGen servers. We’ve spent a decade ensuring fast speeds and stable connections. Our state-of-the-art hardware gives you 10 Gbps bandwidth.
  • Automatic circuit breaker: Forget about data leaks. PIA includes an advanced kill switch, which you can use to stop internet traffic outside the VPN tunnel, whether the VPN is enabled or not.
  • Total transparency: AIP source code is publicly available, so anyone can see how our VPN works. Do you have an idea to improve the source code? Request the change on our GitHub repository!

Pay now… to stop paying later

Tax season is tough. Don’t expose your data to malicious cybercriminals and make the season worse. PIA offers you industry-leading protection to keep your financial data safe and fraud-free.

FAQs

Should I file a tax return?

Most likely. If you made money in 2021, you will need to file a tax return with the IRS. The IRS makes exceptions for people who earned less than the standard dedication, dependents, and Social Security recipients.

While researching your tax situation, use PIA VPN to hide your financial data from third parties.

How do I start filing my taxes?

First, decide if you are filing electronically or manually. Next, gather all your tax information and prepare your return.

Check out the steps above to get your best tax return and subscribe to PIA to protect your financial data this tax season.

When can you start filing your taxes in 2022?

As soon as you want! April 18, 2022 is the tax deadline this year, but you don’t have to wait until then to start working on your taxes. As part of the process, make sure to use a VPN to prevent cybercriminals from spying on you.

Contact our customer support team if you have any questions about setting up PIA VPN before the tax deadline.

Can I use the free IRS file to pay my taxes?

Yes, if you earn less than $73,000, you may be eligible to use the IRS’ free tax filing software.
Of course, you can also deposit manually for free, but that’s more difficult way to file your taxes.

Use PIA VPN to remain anonymous during online filing and protect your information from cyber crooks.

How does the IRS Free File work?

First, go to IRS Free File Tool. This will provide you with free deposit options if you qualify. Then go to one of the recommendations and deposit for free.

Like TurboTax and other software, you submit your information online. This means that ensuring your online privacy is essential with a VPN. You want your tax information to be passed only to the IRS, and no one else.

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