IRS States Position on Impact Payments to Decedents

The IRS has updated its “Economic Impact Payment Information Center” FAQ to include the following new Q10:

“Q10. Does someone who has died qualify for the Payment? (added May 6, 2020)
“A10. No. A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.”

There is no other explanation or citation of any authority, and it is not clear why an individual who was alive on 1/1/2020 is not entitled to a credit for the 2020 tax year.

See “Economic Impact Payments for Decedents” for additional information on the payments provided by new IRC added by the CARES Act.

New A41 provides the following instructions for returning payments:

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.

See Q41 for the list of addresses to which checks should be mailed.

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