Here's What You Need to Remember: To return the stimulus payment, write “void” in the endorsement section if the payment came in the form of a check and send it to the IRS location for the corresponding state. The IRS also said to include a note with a reason for the return.
The Internal Revenue Service just disbursed another batch of the $1,400 stimulus payments from the American Rescue Plan last week, but some recipients may have to return the new checks.
Eligible recipients for the full stimulus payment include single filers earning up to $75,000, and joint filers making up to $150,000. Individual filers earning up to $80,000 and joint filers making up to $160,000 will receive smaller amounts. Eligibility is based on the most recent tax return and adjusted gross income.
The latest disbursement included the additional supplemental payments, or “plus-up” payments, for people who had their third stimulus check based on 2019 tax returns but are now eligible for a new or larger payment due to their recently submitted 2020 tax returns. To qualify for a “plus-up” payment, a person’s 2020 income must be lower than their 2019 income. People could also be eligible if a baby or dependent was added to their 2020 tax return.
But what happens if a spouse who received a $1,400 stimulus payment has passed away?
“Individuals who were deceased before January 1, 2021, if they received a payment, that money will have to be returned to the IRS,” Luis D. Garcia, a spokesman for the IRS, told MLive.
The IRS noted, however, that if a person filed a joint tax return or a spouse became deceased during 2021, then that person can keep the payment.
“If you filed a joint return for last year, a 2020 return, you’re eligible for the $1,400. It’s when the return was filed, not what year it was filed. If the spouse died after the filing, you can keep it,” Garcia added.
And if a stimulus check recipient received the payment in both names, it must be sent back to the IRS and include a letter asking for a new direct payment to be mailed back with just the surviving spouse’s name.
To return the stimulus payment, write “void” in the endorsement section if the payment came in the form of a check and send it to the IRS location for the corresponding state. The IRS also said to include a note with a reason for the return.
But if the direct payment was by direct deposit or if the check has already been processed, the IRS says to submit a personal check or money order to the corresponding IRS location. On the check or order, make it payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write “2020EIP,” along with the taxpayer identification number of the recipient of the check and a letter explaining the reason for returning the payment.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.