In April, the IRS began sending or depositing Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to taxpayers based on their previously filed tax returns. The payments were followed by letters to the last known address specifying the amount of the payment. It was quickly brought to the IRS’s attention that deceased taxpayers were receiving payments and it was unclear whether they qualified for payments. On May 6, 2020, the IRS updated their EIP FAQ question 10 to clarify – someone who is deceased at the time of receipt of the payment must return the payment to the IRS. If there is a surviving spouse, the portion of the payment attributed to the deceased spouse must be returned.
FAQ question 41 includes instructions for returning payments. If the payment was directly deposited or the paper check was cashed, the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative must submit a personal check or money order to the IRS at the appropriate address listed in the FAQ. The FAQ provides additional details as to what to write on the check or money order and the requirement to provide a brief explanation as to the reason for returning the EIP. Similar to paper filed returns, the remittance address is dependent on the taxpayer’s state of residence. If the payment was made in the form of a paper check that has not been cashed, “Void” should be written in the endorsement section on the back of the check and the check should be mailed to the appropriate address along with an explanation as to the reason for returning the EIP.
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