Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Stimulus Checks Issues to Deceased People Must Be Returned

Some of our clients have received stimulus payments intended for deceased spouses, parents and other relatives. These are the one-time payments to Americans authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In the interest of time, the Treasury issued checks based on 2018 and 2019 tax returns, but did not cross-check that information with the Social Security Administration’s death index.

It is not known just how much of the $207 billion in payments was issued to deceased Americans. What is known is that the government wants that money back. On May 11, the IRS issued instructions on how to do that.

If you have not yet cashed the check you received for a decedent: Write “void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Mail it back to the IRS with a note explaining why it is being returned.

If you have already cashed the check you received for a decedent:  Write a personal check or money order made payable to the U.S. Treasury. Write “2020EIP” and the decedent’s social security number or taxpayer identification number on the check. Include a note as to why it is being returned.

Where to send the payment:

If you live in Florida, send the above to Austin Internal Revenue Service, 3651 S Interregional Highway 35, Austin, TX 78741.

If you live in a different state, find the proper mailing address here.  (Scroll down to question number 41.)