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Yes, some people have to return incentive money to the IRS. This is why and how


That extra incentive money may not be yours to keep.

Sarah Tew / CNET

While about 147 million Americans qualified for a second stimulus control, millions of people are still waiting for a payment of maximum $ 600. At this point most will have to claim them 2020 taxesalthough we’ve heard people receive payments through EIP card earlier this week. In some cases, people who have received a check have done it in error, and maybe not eligible to keep that money.

If you’ve received a payment that you think you shouldn’t have, you may more than the specified income limit, for example – the IRS expects you to return the money. When the first round of incentive checks came out in 2020, the IRS said it accidentally sent payments to people who were ineligible in certain cases. Because the second round of checks was supposed to be pushed out so quickly, it is possible that the same thing has happened again. Depending on how you got the stimulus payment – by paper check, EIP card or direct deposit – there are specific ways to return it.

Here are the reasons why the IRS would want you to return a stimulus check that was wrongly paid, and how to do it. It’s also important to keep your stimulus check rights and these important details about it incentive controls and taxes. (And here’s what happens to a potential third stimulus check, why some want to “target the payment”, How much money that the new check could generate and when it can be approved.) This story is regularly updated.

Circumstances when you must repay your incentive payment

“Qualifications” refers to how the government determines who qualifies for a second incentive check. If you fall into one of these categories and received a stimulus check, it was probably by mistake:

  • You received a check for someone who passed away, but there is some nuance here (more below).
  • You do not have a social security number.
  • You are considered a “non-resident alien” without a spouse of a US citizen.
  • You are a non-citizen filing federal taxes.
  • Your adjusted gross income exceeds the limit; for example, $ 87,000 for a single taxpayer.
  • You are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes.

There is more information on this who is not eligible for the $ 600 incentive check.

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Second stimulus checks: everything you need to know


What to do if you received a stimulus check for someone who has passed away

If you received a payment for someone who died in 2019 or earlier, the IRS says you must repay the full payment “unless it was made to joint filers and one spouse is still alive.” If you are the living spouse, you will have to repay half of the payment – just no more than $ 1,200 in total.

However, if the check was issued in both your name and the name of your deceased spouse (and therefore you cannot deposit the money), you must return the entire amount to the IRS. After the agency processes the returned payment, it will issue a new check with the correct amount for you.

If you have cashed or deposited the stimulus check, you can return it as follows

1. Use a personal check or money order and pay the check to the U.S. Treasury. You must also write the EIP 2020 and include the taxpayer identification number or Social Security number of the person whose name is on the check.

2. On a separate sheet of paper, let the IRS know why you are returning the check.

3. Mail the check to the correct IRS location – it depends what state you live in.


While you’re still waiting for your check to arrive, you can track it.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you haven’t cashed or deposited a paper check, here’s how to return it

If any of the above applies to you, you may need to return your stimulus check. Here’s how to do this for each scenario, according to the IRS.

1. Write “VOID” in the approval section on the back of the check.

2. Do not bend the check, paperclip or not.

3. On a separate sheet of paper, let the IRS know why you are returning the check.

4. Mail the check to the correct IRS location – it varies depending on the state you live in.

Never received your incentive payment? Here’s what to do

If you are one of more than 100 million people who were eligible for the second $ 600 stimulus check and it never arrived, you may be able to claim it as a recovery credit discount even about your taxes if you don’t usually file taxes. Alternatively, you may need to starts an IRS payment track.

If you are not signed up for direct deposit through the IRS, this is a good time, as one the third stimulus check is on the table. To do this, you’ll need to add your bank details when you file your 2020 taxes this year. We also encourage you to file your taxes as early as possible this year, especially because of stimulus controls.

To keep up to date with the latest incentive news, visit what happens now that the IRS has stopped sending second stimulus controls. If you have problems with stimulus control, do this instead of calling the IRS. This is also what is happening now with a potential third incentive payment.

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