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Austin man, dead since 2018, gets coronavirus stimulus check—and might have to give it back

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Some Austin residents are receiving stimulus checks even after they have died.


An IRS check for $1200 appeared over the weekend in the mailbox of one local, but it was addressed to her father, who passed away in 2018. The check was also addressed to the daughter as executor of his estate. The daughter has asked that her name not be used.

The $2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March, which created the $1200 individual stimulus tax payments, says that payments to estates or trusts are not allowed. The payments are based on 2018 or 2019 tax filings, and clarity has been hard to come by on the issue of checks being mailed to people who have died since their last return was filed.

A call to the IRS media office in Washington D.C. was not returned, but a follow-up email said all current information on the stimulus payments is available on the IRS.gov website. The site does not address the issue of payments to the deceased.

President Donald Trump recently told reporters that the checks to deceased taxpayers were the result of "minor glitches" and that fewer than 1% of the 80 million deposits and checks had any problems. One percent of 80 million is 800,000.

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the Wall Street Journal that relatives and estates that have cashed them should pay the money back to the government.

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