Do Families of Deceased COVID-19 Victims Have to Give Back Stimulus Checks?

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People across the United States have received federal stimulus checks.

However, the Internal Revenue Service, otherwise known as the IRS, is urging families of the deceased who received stimulus checks to give the money back, reported CNBC.

Johns Hopkins University created data surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, which then was turned into an interactive map. As of May 10, the United States has 1,329,260 confirmed cases and 79,526 deaths.

The U.S. government is still sending out stimulus checks. Last week, the Treasury Department reported that it sent out almost 130 million payments in less than five weeks.

What about Americans who recently passed away due to COVID-19?

The requirement could vary based on the timing of the death and the receipt of those checks.

The agency says on its website that “a payment made to someone who died before receipt of payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments.”

Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, explained how it would work in two instances. One person receives the $1,200 payment via direct deposit the day before they pass, while the other person does not have a direct deposit and is waiting for the check in the mail.

Holtzblatt said the first person’s family could accept the money. However, for the second person, the outcome gets confusing. If the check is sent through the mail, can they keep it?

The senior fellow said the guidance could have said that “anyone who died in 2020 would get to keep the money."

She continued that having a set date would give much more certainty for families than the actual receipt. But for families in this situation, she suggested that they do not spend the money.

“I predict more guidance. I predict changes in this,” she said.

CNBC said that the IRS did not further explain the information about this on its website.

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