By: Logan Wood © 2020

Beginning in April of 2020, U.S. citizens began to receive Economic Impact Payments (i.e. stimulus checks) from the Treasury Department due to the impact of COVID-19. In determining the amount each citizen would receive, the Treasury Department relied on the last filed tax returns to identify qualifying individuals and to calculate how much each citizen would receive.  Because the official filing date for taxes for the 2019 filing year has also been extended due to the impact of COVID-19, in some instances the IRS was required to rely on taxes filed for the 2018 tax year.  Because of this, taxpayers who had passed away since the last time that tax returns were filed in some instances qualified for a stimulus check.

To address this issue, in May of 2020, the IRS and the Treasury Department declared an official policy in that any Economic Impact Payment allocated to a deceased person must be returned. If the Economic Impact Payment was sent to joint filers and one spouse is living, then only the amount allocated to the deceased spouse must be returned.  The living spouse may keep the amount of the Economic Impact Payment allocated to the living spouse. 

According to the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center, an Economic Impact Payment allocated to a deceased person must be returned in  the full by either mailing back the physical check or writing a check (cashier’s check or personal check) for the full amount to the following address:

Fresno Refund Inquiry Unit
5045 E Butler Avenue
Mail Stop B2007
Fresno, CA 93888

Below is more information from the Economic Impact Payment Information Center question #54 regarding where to return a payment (As of 05/20/2020): 

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 2020 EIP, 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 payment.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Attorneys at Steimle and Birschbach as we remain fully available to serve our clients during this time. Please reach out to us via email or phone at business@steimlebirschbach.comor (920) 683-3500.

Straight talk. Solid advice. That’s our way of doing business. 

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