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Stimulus payments sent to deceased recipients must be sent back immediately

What you should do if you receive the extra money
IRS demands families return stimulus checks sent to dead relatives
Posted at 4:59 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 01:18:06-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — There's an after effect of the $2 trillion stimulus package and payments to Americans to help rebuild the economy. Some are getting extra money who shouldn't, and that's because they're deceased.

"Bob F." -- who asked not to be identified -- says he received his $1,200 stimulus payment on April 15, then discovered a bank deposit for $2,400 for both of his parents, who died over the last two years.

"I was very shocked, and I now I’m in a quandary about what do I do with this?” Bob said.

As a matter of fact, Bob says three extra stimulus payments came into his household. That's because his partner, who was working on his mothers estate after she died earlier this year, noticed $1,200 in her bank account. Between the two of them, that's $3,600 in stimulus payments to dead family members.

“I was trying to get my parents estate wrapped up now that I have their taxes and things done," Bob said. "I feel bad about that because some people need it a lot more than I do people who have lost their jobs."

KGUN 9 spoke to representatives at the IRS who say if you receive a check for someone who passed away, that money has to go back immediately. If you're married and received money for a deceased spouse, you will have to return the extra $1,200 designated for that person, too. The same goes for anyone in prison -- the stimulus bill excludes payments for those currently incarcerated.

There are a couple of ways to return the money, according to the IRS. If you received a check in the mail you can just write "VOID"on the back of it and send it back. If you received a direct deposit or cashed the check already, you can send a return payment via check or money order.

Make the check payable to the U.S. Treasury, write "2020EIP" and the social security number or personal identification number of the receiver on the check or money order to make the payment and include a note explaining why you're sending the money back.

Click here for more information -- refer to questions 10, 12 and 41.