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What should I do if a deceased

relative received a stimulus check?

May 18, 2020

As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), millions of Americans were eligible for a $1,200 stimulus check, called an “economic impact payment,” or “EIP.” The IRS automatically sent checks to eligible individuals that were not dependent on another taxpayer.

However, some families received checks that were payable to a deceased relative. A deceased person does not qualify for a stimulus check under the CARES Act. If you received a check on behalf of a deceased relative, the check must be returned in full to the IRS unless the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse is still living. In that case, you would only need to return the portion that would have benefitted the decedent. Please see the following instructions regarding how to return the payment:

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.

  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.

  3. Do not staple, bend, or paper clip the check.

  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check, (i.e. that the recipient is deceased).

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.

  2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.

  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP, (i.e. that the recipient is deceased).

The IRS mailing address for Ohio residents: 

Kansas City Internal Revenue Service

333 W Pershing Rd.

Kansas City, MO 64108


If you have additional questions regarding this matter or more questions about the 2020 stimulus checks, you may reference: As always, the Broehl Law Office is here to guide you through this process and answer any questions you may have related to this or any other legal matter.

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