Around 160 million Americans were eligible to receive a of up to , yet millions still . And some people who did receive a check may not have and could soon find themselves in the predicament of having to return it.
With the first round of stimulus checks in 2020, the IRS admitted to in some cases sending out payments to ineligible people by accident, and due to the deadline for sending payments, it’s possible the same thing happened again. If you received a payment that you don’t think you should have gotten — perhaps you make , for instance — the IRS expects you to send the money back. And depending on how you got the stimulus payment — by , or — there are specific ways to go about returning it.
Here are the reasons the IRS would want you to return a stimulus check paid out in error and here’s how to do it. It’s also important to know yourand these key details about . (And here’s what’s happening with a potential , why some how much and .) This story is updated frequently.
Several reasons why you could need to return your stimulus payment
“Qualifications” refers to how the government determines. If you fall into any of these categories and received a stimulus check, it’s likely by error:
- You received a check for someone who has died — but there’s some nuance here (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.
Returning a stimulus check that’s been cashed or deposited
1. Use a personal check or money order and make the check payable to the 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.
Sending a paper payment back that hasn’t been cashed or deposited
If any of the above situations pertains to you, you may need to send your stimulus check back. Here’s how to do it for each scenario, per the IRS.
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.
What if you got a stimulus check for someone who has died?
If you received 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 processes the returned payment, it will issue a new check with the correct amount for you.
What you can do if you still haven’t gotten a stimulus payment
If you’re among the more than 100 million people who were eligible to receive the second $600 stimulus check and you haven’t received it, you may be able toon your taxes, even . Alternatively, you may have to .
If you aren’t, now’s a good time, as a . To do so, you’ll need to add your banking information when you file your 2020 taxes this year. We also encourage you to , specifically because of stimulus checks.
To stay updated on the latest stimulus check news, check. If you’re having stimulus check problems, . Also, here’s what’s happening right now with a potential .