Coronavirus Stimulus Payments for Deceased Individuals

Coronavirus Stimulus Payments for Deceased Individuals

May 18, 2020

Have you received a stimulus check on behalf of a deceased loved one and wondered if you should keep it or send it back? On May 6, 2020 the IRS released the correct answer: it needs to be sent back.

However, there is one exception to the above statement. If a couple is married and filed their return jointly but one spouse passed away before their check was received, the living spouse can keep their portion of the check but must return the half that belonged to the deceased spouse.

If a paper check was received for a deceased relative, the surviving relative should write VOID on the back of the check’s endorsement section and mail it back to the IRS with a note stating why it is being returned. If the money was direct deposited, the money must be returned via a personal check or money order. The Social Security Number or taxpayer ID of the check recipient, along with the words “2020EIP” must be included on the check, along with a written explanation as to why it is being returned. The correct IRS address to mail the check can be found on the IRS website here under Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Eligibility and General Information Question 52.

Please note, the above statements also apply to non-resident aliens and incarcerated individuals.