Fact Finders: How to return a stimulus payment sent to a dead relative

Fact Finders: How to return a stimulus payment sent to a dead relative

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The rollout of the stimulus payments approved by Congress faced some challenges. Now, as more people get their payments, some are seeing money in accounts for their relatives who are no longer alive.

That’s the case for one Southern Arizona woman, who asked to be referred to as Joan.

Joan is the trust on her father’s account, who died in 2018. She said she was surprised to see the $1,200 stimulus payment in her father’s account.

“I researched all the IRS things, everything on the stimulus package and there’s nothing on returning money, just receiving it," Joan said. “We just want to know what we can do to return it.”

Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told The Wall Street Journal the money should be returned. Mnuchin told The WSJ the department is checking databases, but there may be scenarios where they “missed something” and heirs are getting the payment since it is based off tax returns from 2018 and 2019.

However, there doesn’t appear to be any information on how to do return the payment. Neither Joan nor KOLD News 13 could find anything on the IRS website about it.

“If that happened to us, I’m sure there’s probably thousands of others out there deceased that are receiving checks and it should be going to the small businesses and people who really need it," Joan said.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department told several media outlets the department will be issuing guidance on this shortly.

A regional spokesperson for the IRS said to check the Economic Impact Payment Information Center. He said if the particular situation isn’t addressed, you should continue to check back as additional guidance is being updated all the time.

“We feel guilty that we received it and we’ll just hold onto it until we get the guidance," Joan said.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.