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IRS wants stimulus money sent to deceased Americans returned

Thanks to the CARES Act, millions of Americans received $1200 stimulus checks…even those Americans that have passed away.

At first, people were impressed with the efficiency of the government when they began receiving direct deposits in their bank accounts just weeks after the bill’s passage. It didn’t take long, however, for some to start noticing something odd.

Republican Congressman Thomas Massie received an alarming text from a family friend on April 15.

“Dad got his stimulus check of $1200,” the friend said via text. “He died in 2018. Does he have to spend it online?”

Massie posted the text on his Twitter account and proclaimed that the incident was just the tip of the iceberg. It turns out he was right. Soon thousands of Americans were seeing deposits in their accounts for deceased spouses or loved ones.

But wait, there’s more! After direct deposits were completed, the IRS began mailing paper checks to recipients and you guessed it … that also included the deceased.

Massie again took to Twitter to show how the paper checks actually had “deceased” printed right on them.

After remaining quiet for some time, the IRS finally released a statement that any payments made to deceased Americans must be returned.

“A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments,” the statement began. “Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent.”

The move has prompted several calls to congressional offices expressing concern. Some recipients are happy to return their checks while others believe they shouldn’t be blamed for the government’s mistake.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper and several colleagues sent a letter to the administration demanding answers to the embarrassing incident.

“Why are deceased people receiving stimulus checks? It’s critical Americans get relief quickly, but these improper payments represent serious waste and a burden to those who receive them,” Carper Tweeted with a copy of the letter.

These embarrassing glitches in sending the stimulus checks have impacted millions of households, including those that are still waiting for their own payments.  The fact that deceased taxpayers have received the payments while many working Americans still await their checks is a very worrisome sign of government inefficiency. 

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