IRS wants stimulus checks addressed to deceased loved ones returned

The Internal Revenue Service is asking family members to return stimulus checks made out to deceased relatives. Over the past couple of weeks, an unknown number of Americans whose loved ones have died recently are getting stimulus payments in the mail.

AARP, a non-profit organization advocating for elderly people has kept an eye on the issue. David Certner, AARP Legislative Counsel and Legislative Policy Director said the group has received a number of calls from families asking what they should do with their deceased loved ones' check.


“It is very unfortunate that people have obviously gone through a loss and then they get this reminder in the mail of a paycheck addressed to them,” Certner said. “The Treasury is trying to process over a hundred million payments in a short period of time and are clearly making some errors.”

Eligibility to receive a stimulus check is dependent on income and who has filed taxes in 2018 and 2019. For a while the IRS didn’t have an answer for families, now they are asking people to send the money right back.


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Here are the steps stated on the IRS website.

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

Unless a person has filed taxes jointly, they are asked to send back the portion meant for the deceased. For example, if a person received $2,400 for two people, they will be sending back $1,200. AARP is working on getting answers for other members who have yet to receive their stimulus checks.

RELATED: Millions won’t get full coronavirus stimulus checks — what to do if you need money

“We’ve just written to the IRS this week, raising a series of questions. One about what would you do when you do get a check for someone who is deceased but also to put out information for someone who hasn’t received a check,” said Certner.

Texans who are mailing in their deceased relative's checks to the government are asked to mail to:

Austin Refund Inquiry Unit
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Mail Stop 6542 
Austin, TX 78741


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