Returning Stimulus Payments Made to Deceased Individuals

By Emily Crain

COVID-19 has brought daily life and much of the economy to a halt. In response, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act  to provide relief to U.S. citizens, including payments based on income. These stimulus payments are called “Economic Impact Payments” and their amounts vary based on a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

The deceased are not entitled to receive these stimulus payments, and the IRS has acknowledged that checks have been paid to deceased individuals. The money is required to be returned.

Here’s an example of why this could have happened: often married couples file their tax return together, and if one spouse died since the time of filing, the surviving spouse will receive a check meant to be paid for two people. In this case, the surviving spouse must return the amount for their deceased spouse.

How Do I Return a Payment Meant for a Deceased Individual?

If the payment was made in the form of a paper check, simply write “VOID” on the endorsement section of the check and mail it to the IRS.

However, if the check has been deposited or if the payment was a direct deposit, send a check or money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” with 2020EIP and the taxpayer identification number of the payment recipient in the memo line. In addition, include a letter of explanation.

Mailing Address

If you live in Oklahoma, please mail to the following IRS address:

Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX, 78741

If you are a resident of another state, the IRS mailing address for your location can be found here.

emily crain- financial planning expert

Emily Crain
Senior Vice President

(405) 840-8401