There may be 8 million Americans who are and never received it. But on the other side, there may also be people who got stimulus payments they weren’t actually entitled to receive, or received more money than they should have.
The IRS said it mistakenly sent stimulus checks to ineligible people last year with the first round of relief payments, and it’s possible the same thing happened with the second stimulus payments sent out in December. If you received a payment that you likely weren’t supposed to — perhaps you got stimulus money even though you make , for instance — the IRS expects you to send back the money. And depending on how you received the stimulus payment — by , or — there are specific ways to go about returning it.
We list 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 key details about . (And here’s what’s happening with a potential , how much and .) This story is frequently updated.
Reasons you might need to send back a stimulus check
Qualifications are key to determining. 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.
How to return a paper check that hasn’t been cashed or deposited
If any of the above situations pertain 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.
Sending back stimulus money that you did cash or deposit
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.
The process to return a check you received for someone who 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 should I do if I still haven’t gotten my stimulus check?
If you are 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’re not, 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 .