stimulus checks

New Guidance On Stimulus Payments Sent to Dead

The federal government wants stimulus money sent to deceased in error returned

NBC Universal, Inc.

At first, the federal government had no response when some people started noticing their recently passed relatives started receiving federal coronavirus stimulus payments, known as economic impact payments, or EIPs.

Now the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which has administered the stimulus check program, has said whoever got the payments, to send them back.

Last month, NBC Connecticut introduced you to Nancy Muench.  She learned her mother, who died last year, received a $1,200 stimulus check.  She never thought once about cashing it. 

“I will not cash it, it was not, not mine, and it’s not my mom’s either.  She was not entitled to it.”

Hartford area CPA Andrew Lattimer said Muench is far from the only person in this situation. 

“I’ve actually had several clients get stimulus checks for deceased parents," he said.

The IRS has offered guidance (Question 41 in the FAQ) that people “should” return the stimulus payments send to someone who died, but has not said what would happen if the payments are not returned.  

Here’s how to do it:

To return a paper stimulus check to the IRS:

  • write void in the endorsement section on the back of the check
  • don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check
  • write a note why you’re returning it

If you cashed the stimulus check or if it was a direct deposit:

  • send a personal check or money order to the IRS, payable to U.S. Treasury
  • write 2020EIP, and the deceased person’s social security or taxpayer identification number on the check
  • write have a note why you’re returning it

In both of those cases, for people in Connecticut, return the payment to:   

Kansas City Refund Inquiry Unit 

333 W Pershing Rd

Mail Stop 6800

N-2 Kansas City, Mo 64108

Contact Us