Taxpayer Advocate on Economic Impact Payments to Deceased Taxpayers

The National Taxpayer Advocate Objectives Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2021 (6/29/2020) addresses the issue of whether deceased taxpayers may receive “economic impact payments” (aka “stimulus payments”) authorized by the CARES Act and made the following observations and recommendations:

  1. In 2008, the IRS did not ask that similar payments to decedents be returned and took no steps to collect the payments from the decedent’s estate or family.
  2. The statute could be interpreted to include a person who dies in 2020 in the definition of “eligible individual” even if the person died before the payment is received.
  3. The IRS should not spend resources pursuing enforcement actions to recover payments sent to decedents.

See “Individuals in Limited Circumstances Are Being Asked to Return the Economic Impact Payments,” beginning at page 56 of the Report.

Conclusion #2 is consistent with the observations made in “Economic Impact Payments for Decedents,” which has additional information about the relevant provisions of the CARES Act.

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