Do You Need to Return a Stimulus Check for Someone Who is Deceased?
You do. If you received a stimulus check for a family member who passed away, the IRS wants you to return it. In their haste to get money in the hands of those in need, the government sent over 1 million checks to people who died.
You are expected to return the entire amount of the check for a spouse who died, unless it was made payable to joint filers and one spouse still remains alive. In this case, the living spouse only needs to return the portion of the payment made to the deceased spouse. If you received a check for a dependent that is deceased, you would also need to return that stimulus payment.
Please see the chart below for the amounts to return. Note that these amounts would be less for taxpayers whose “adjusted gross income” exceed certain threshold amounts, depending on filing status.
A qualified dependent for the 1st and 2nd stimulus checks is defined as anyone 16 or younger. For the third stimulus check, dependent status changed to include 17 year-olds and adult dependents (anyone 18 or older), which includes college students under age 24, children of any age with certain disabilities, and elderly parents who are dependents of their adult children.
Returning Paper Check Received
If you received payment as a paper check and have not cashed it, then:
- Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check;
- Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed on the chart below;
- Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check; and
- Include a brief explanation of why you are returning the check.
Returning Cashed or Direct Deposited Checks
If you received payment by direct deposit or cashed the check, then:
- Mail a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location on the chart below;
- Make the check/money order payable to “U.S. Treasury“, and include “2020EIP” and the deceased person’s taxpayer identification number (social security number or individual taxpayer identification number) on the check or money order; and
- Include a brief explanation of why you are returning the payment.