May 11

IRS Updates FAQ’s to Address Stimulus Payments to Deceased Taxpayers – Send It Back

The Internal Revenue Service has published new guidance for stimulus checks or direct deposits for deceased taxpayers. The short answers are:

  1. No, you can’t keep a stimulus check for a taxpayer who died before receiving the check;
  2. If you received a paper check, return the payment;
  3. If you spent it, pay it back; and
  4. If it was a direct deposit, send us a check. For surviving spouses who filed jointly, only the deceased spouse’s portion needs to be sent back.

The FAQ’s on the IRS web site Economic Payment Information Center, initially suggests that payments received before the date of death can be kept. As updated on May 6, 2020, the FAQ’s now answer questions about payments to deceased taxpayers. Here’s what you can find on the IRS Web Site:

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.

Q41. What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment? (added May 6, 2020)

A41. 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, Vermont Andover Refund Inquiry Unit
310 Lowell St
Mail Stop 666A
Andover, MA 01810
Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia Atlanta Refund Inquiry Unit
4800 Buford Hwy
Mail Stop 112
Chamblee, GA 30341
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas Austin Refund Inquiry Unit
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Mail Stop 6542
Austin, TX 78741
New York Brookhaven Refund Inquiry Unit
5000 Corporate Ct.
Mail Stop 547
Holtsville, NY 11742
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming Fresno Refund Inquiry Unit
5045 E Butler Avenue
Mail Stop B2007
Fresno, CA 93888
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia Kansas City Refund Inquiry Unit
333 W Pershing Rd
Mail Stop 6800
N-2 Kansas City, MO 64108
Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee Memphis Refund Inquiry Unit
5333 Getwell Rd
Mail Stop 8422
Memphis, TN 38118
District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Philadelphia Refund Inquiry Unit
2970 Market St
DP 3-L08-151
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 Refund Inquiry Unit
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Mail Stop 6542 AUSC
Austin, TX 78741

The web site also answers questions about eligibility. For example, incarcerated taxpayers are not eligible for the payment. Congress and the IRS first acted quickly to get money in the hands of taxpayers. As expected, they’re now working to get money back from those not entitled to keep it.