My Dead Relative Received a Stimulus Check. Can I keep it?

 In Government Benefits, Probate

There have been a number of glitches in sending stimulus payments to Americans under the recently enacted CARES Act, including sending stimulus payments, which are intended to ease the financial stress caused by the Coronavirus, to dead people. Initially, this issue left many unanswered questions for the relatives of the deceased. What should I do with the money? Do I get to keep it? Should it be deposited into an estate account? Should I send it back? However, now, the IRS has issued specific guidance on what to do if you receive a stimulus check for a deceased person.

According to the recently released guidance, the IRS says that a stimulus payment made to someone who died before receiving  should be returned to the government. If the payment was made to a single filer, the entire payment should be returned. If the payment was made to joint filers, and one spouse had not died before the receipt of the payment, only the portion of the payment made on account of the decedent should be returned. This amount will be $1,200.00, unless the joint adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.00.

Fred Jacobs is a Florida Board Certified Tax Lawyer.  Contact Fred at Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. to discuss tax planning for you and your family. Call (941) 906-1231 to schedule an appointment.

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