Tens of millions of Americans waited months for ato be approved. Within days of being signed into law, the US Treasury and IRS moved quickly to send out the in order to meet . With little time to fully confirm , it’s possible you may have received a check in error.
The IRS admitted to sending stimulus checks to non-eligible people by mistake with the first relief payment, and it could have happened again. If you received a check you weren’t supposed to — for example, you got stimulus money even though you make — the IRS expects you to send back the payment. And depending on how you received the stimulus money — by (including ) or — there are specific ways you would need to go about the return.
Here are all the reasons the IRS would expect you to send back a stimulus check paid out in error and how to do it. It’s also important to know yourand these important things about . (And here’s what’s happening with a .)
Reasons to return the second stimulus check
Qualifications are key to determining. If you fall under any of these categories and received a stimulus check, it’s likely by error.
- You received a check for someone who has died — there’s some nuance, more below.
- You don’t have a Social Security number.
- You’re considered a ‘nonresident alien‘ without a US citizen spouse.
- You’re a noncitizen who files federal taxes.
- Your exceeds the limit, for example, $87,000 for a single taxpayer.
- You’re on someone else’s taxes.
Here’s more information about.
How to send a stimulus check back to the IRS
If any of the above statements pertain to you, you may need to send your stimulus check back. Here’s how to do it for each scenario, per the IRS.
Returning a paper check that hasn’t been cashed or deposited:
1. Write VOID in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
2. Do not bend, paper clip or staple the check.
3. On a separate piece of paper, let the IRS know why you’re sending the check back.
4. Mail the check to the appropriate IRS location — it varies depending on which state you live in.
Returning a direct deposit or a paper check that was cashed or deposited:
1. Use a personal check or money order and make the check payable to US Treasury. You’ll also need to write 2020 EIP and include the taxpayer identification number or Social Security number of the person whose name is on the check.
2. On a separate piece of paper, let the IRS know why you’re sending the check back.
3. Mail the check to the appropriate IRS location — it depends on which state you live in.
Returning a check for someone who has died:
If you receive a payment for someone who died in 2019 or earlier, the IRS says you should return the entire payment “unless it was made to joint filers and one spouse is still living.” If you’re the living spouse, you should return half the payment — just not more than $1,200 in all.
However, if the check is issued in both your name and your deceased spouse’s name (and therefore you can’t deposit the money), you’ll need to return the whole amount to the IRS. After the agency can process the returned payment, it will issue you a new check with the correct amount for you.
What if I haven’t received a stimulus check yet?
If you were among the tens of millions who were eligible to receive the second stimulus check and you haven’t received it, you may be able toon your taxes. Also, note that for a few days more, the payment could still be in transit if you’re receiving a paper check or in the mail. If so, you can .
To stay updated on the latest stimulus check news, here’sand if you’re having stimulus check problems, . Also, here’s what’s happening right now with a .