The bottom line: No. A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS.

The IRS is requiring anyone who received a payment for a deceased person to return the entire Payment. Unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, the recipient would only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.

What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment?

The IRS has released the below guidelines for returning payments.

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the IRS.
  3. Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number,  or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

What are Economic Impact Payments?

The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.

Those who don’t usually file a tax return and receive Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) also receive automatic payments of $1,200. While some of these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don’t typically file tax returns. Many people in these groups are expected to see the automatic $1,200 payments later this month, with SSI and VA payments expected to start in May.

For people who have little or no income and didn’t file a tax return or don’t receive any of the federal benefits listed above, they are also eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. They need to register with the Non-Filer tool on IRS.gov as soon as possible so they can receive a payment.


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