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Did the Government Make a Mistake? Economic Impact Payments Paid to Deceased Individuals – Updated 5/6/2020

by | Apr 28, 2020 | Firm News

Individuals have begun receiving their economic impact payments over the past couple of weeks. Some of those individuals have passed away leaving their loved ones wondering what to do with these monies. Do they need to return it to the government? Can they keep it? No one wants to get in trouble with the IRS.

The IRS has just released guidance indicating that a deceased individual does not qualify for the economic impact payment and that the payment should be returned to the Treasury Department. It is unclear what, if anything, can be done by the IRS if the payment is NOT returned. Many pundits have explained that there is a provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that provides if Treasury sends an individual too much money, you do not need to pay it back. It is considered a math or clerical error. “People may have returned it, but they didn’t need to,” said Nina Olson, the former head of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an internal IRS watchdog.  . . .  The CARES Act stimulus bill contained no “clawback” provisions for stimulus checks sent to a dead person, meaning the agency can’t retrieve the money after it’s been handed out, she said. To read this article, CLICK HERE

A10. No. A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions 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.

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
1310 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.