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IRS: Dead people (and their descendants), inmates, undocumented immigrants can't keep stimulus check

IRS: Dead people (and their descendants), inmates, undocumented immigrants can't keep stimulus check
Posted at 10:18 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 07:00:11-04

The IRS issued guidance on Wednesday stipulating that dead people (and their descendants), inmates and undocumented immigrants must return stimulus checks that the federal government has been issuing in recent weeks.

Most American adults have received or will receive a $1,200 check, depending on income levels.

According to the IRS guidance, a stimulus payment made to someone who died before receipt of the payment should be returned to the IRS. The IRS said the entire payment should be returned unless the check was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the payment. The spouse would return the portion of the check made on account of the decedent.

How checks sent to non-joint filers of the deceased will be returned is unknown.

A person who the government declares a “non-resident alien” in 2020 is not eligible for the check. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with a valid Social Security number is eligible for a stimulus check only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020.

Also, a person who is incarcerated is required to return their stimulus check to the IRS, under certain guidelines.

For those who received a paper check, the IRS is requesting the check to be voided and returned to the IRS. Those who cashed the check or received it via direct deposit will need to send the IRS a check or cashier’s check. For more info on how to return payments, click here.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering