What to Do if A Stimulus Payment Is Made to a Deceased Person

What to Do if A Stimulus Payment Is Made to a Deceased Person

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As many of you are aware, the federal government has issued stimulus payments to people who qualify based upon their income. Unfortunately, this is resulting in the government auto depositing payments to the accounts of people who have passed away. Accordingly, this post will help you understand what to do if a stimulus payment made to a deceased person.

After weeks of online discussion and public conjecture, the IRS formally commented on its Frequently Asked Questions Page (Economic Impact Payment Information Center Page) on the issue of decedent ineligibility for coronavirus stimulus payments and also posted very specific instructions of how to return the check or funds.

The most helpful IRS responses regarding what to do if a stimulus payment is made to a deceased person are as follows:

Q10. Does someone who has died qualify for the Payment? (added May 6, 2020)

A10. No. A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments. 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, you 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. 

Q48. What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment (EIP)? (updated May 11, 2020)

A48. You should return the payment as described below.

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 appropriate IRS location listed below.
  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.

For your paper check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use based on the state:

If you live in…then mail to this address
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, VermontAndover Internal Revenue Service
310 Lowell St.
Andover, MA 01810
Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, VirginiaAtlanta Internal Revenue Service
4800 Buford Hwy
Chamblee, GA 30341
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, TexasAustin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741
New YorkBrookhaven Internal Revenue Service
5000 Corporate Ct.
Holtsville, NY 11742
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, WyomingFresno Internal Revenue Service
5045 E Butler Avenue
Fresno, CA 93888
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West VirginiaKansas City Internal Revenue Service
333 W Pershing Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, TennesseeMemphis Internal Revenue Service
5333 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118
District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode IslandPhiladelphia Internal Revenue Service
2970 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory*, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien.Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented number of deaths and complicated many of the traditional processes for burial, funerals, grieving and support. Estate administrations have surged, with families and loved ones searching for assets and answers.  While the recent rounds of economic impact payments have caused the biggest question posed to our office, we are available to answer any questions you may have regarding estate administration or the probate process during these difficult times.

Written by Elizabeth Ketterson, Esq. and Kevin A. Pollock, Esq.

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