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What to do when you have received a stimulus check for someone who has recently died?

Written by Jim Nelson

A stimulus check that has been made out to someone who died before the receipt of the payment must be returned to the IRS. The IRS has provided this example: 

Mary receives her EIP electronically in her bank account on April 20.  She dies on April 21.  Mary’s estate is not required to return the EIP payment.  However, had Mary died on April 19, then the estate would be required to return the payment since it was not received by Mary prior to her death.

The $1,200 could be sent to a decedent themselves or a decedent’s spouse if they filed their last tax return jointly. When your spouse has passed away, the survivor may receive $2,400 because they filed a joint return, but will be obligated to return $1,200.

A check may also include the name of the person who filed the 2019 tax return. For instance, it could be in the name of the Personal Representative of the decedent’s estate.  Even in that case, the check needs to be returned if because it was issued after the taxpayer’s death.

To return money sent to someone who has recently died in Michigan, mail a check to: 

Kansas City Internal Revenue

Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, 

Kansas City, MO 64108 

Check: If you need to return a check, write void on the check and include a note stating that the recipient is deceased. 

Direct Deposit: If the money was a direct deposited then you will need to send a check payable to the U.S. Treasury. Write 2020EIP and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check. Include a note stating that the recipient is deceased. 

For information about where to return money sent to decedents outside of Michigan:

Have Questions About Your Stimulus Check?

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