Coronavirus stimulus money sent to dead people must be returned, IRS says


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Any stimulus payments sent to dead Americans must be returned, both the IRS and Treasury Department said Wednesday.

The IRS has updated its website to say that people who have died do not qualify for the coronavirus stimulus payments.

“A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS,’ the government says.

In a tweet, the Treasury Department issued a similar statement.

Before these statements were issued, it was unclear if the money needed to be repaid.

According to the IRS, those who qualify for the stimulus payments, which totaled to $1,200 per individual, must “have a work-eligible Social Security number,” which is not the case for those who are dead.

“You’re not supposed to keep that payment,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We’re checking the databases, but there could be a scenario where we missed something, and yes, the heirs should be returning that money.”

Hundreds of people on social media have shared stories of receiving payments for relatives who passed away in 2018 or 2019.

In 2009, more than 89,000 stimulus payments went to people who were either dead or in prison.

Federal stimulus checks have been sent to millions of Americans since April after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the federal Cares Act.

Those on Supplemental Security Income will “generally” receive checks mid-May.

In addition to the $1,200 payment for qualifying Americans, parents will receive $500 dollars for each dependent child.

Married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment — $2,400 — if their adjusted gross income, which what you report on your taxes, is under $150,000.

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