My Dead Relative Received a Stimulus Check. Can I Keep It?


It has been estimated that the IRS has sent millions of deceased (former taxpayers) stimulus checks.

So the big question is, can I keep the stimulus payment from a deceased relative? Unfortunately, no you can not. Stimulus checks issued to dead people need to be returned to the federal government.

According to the IRS, the payment made to someone who died before receipt of the payment should be returned to the IRS.

Furthermore, the IRS requests that you 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.

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Amy Northard, CPA

Amy Northard, CPA

Founder of The Accountant for Creatives®
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