USstarted on Feb. 12 -- that means if you're one of the millions of qualified Americans who never received a , it's finally time to on your . However, if you're on the other end of the scale and the IRS accidentally sent you money you weren't actually , are you required to return it? We'll explain. And the same rules could apply to a , which is .
If you weren't supposed to receive a stimulus payment -- for example, you make sent payments to people who weren't eligible. Because the second round of checks had to be , it's possible the same errors occurred again. Depending on how you got the stimulus payment -- by , or -- there are specific ways to go about returning it.-- then, yes, the IRS expects you to send the money back. When the first round of stimulus checks went out nearly a year ago, the IRS said that in certain cases it accidentally
Here are several circumstances in which the IRS would want you to return a stimulus check you received in error, with the specifics on how to do it. It's also important to know yourand these key details about . (And here's what's happening with a potential , why the payment could be how much and .) This story was recently updated.
What if I get more money than I should from the third stimulus check?
While a, we do know that it could be up to . We also know that the income cutoff to receive a payment at all would be $100,000 for an individual taxpayer, $150,000 for a head of household and $200,000 for a married couple who files jointly. If you make more than that amount and still receive a , if and when it's approved, the IRS will likely expect you to return the difference.
However, if you made more in 2020 than you did in 2019, but you get a stimulus check before you file your taxes, latest proposal (PDF). We'll update this with final rules . Meanwhile, you can use our to estimate how much you could get., according to the
Instances where you'd be required to return your stimulus payment
The government determines who is and isn'tbased on several factors. If you fall into any of these categories and received a stimulus check, it was likely by error:
- You received a check for someone who has died -- but there's some nuance here (more below).
- You don't have a Social Security number.
- You're considered a "nonresident alien" without a US citizen spouse. (This could .)
- You're a noncitizen who files federal taxes.
- Your exceeds the limit; for example, $87,000 for a single taxpayer with the second check.
- You're on someone else's taxes.
Here's more information about.
What to do with a stimulus payment for someone who's died
If you received a payment for someone who died in 2019 or earlier, the IRS says you should return the entire payment "unless it was made to joint filers and one spouse is still living." If you're the living spouse, you should return half the payment -- just not more than $1,200 in all.
However, if the check is issued in both your name and your deceased spouse's name (and therefore you can't deposit the money), you'll need to return the whole amount to the IRS. After the agency processes the returned payment, it will issue a new check with the correct amount for you.
If you already cashed or deposited the stimulus payment, here's how to return the money
1. Use a personal check or money order and make the check payable to the US Treasury. You'll also need to write 2020 EIP and include the taxpayer identification number or Social Security number of the person whose name is on the check.
2. On a separate piece of paper, let the IRS know why you're sending the check back.
3. Mail the check to the appropriate IRS location -- it depends on which state you live in.
If you never cashed or deposited the paper check, here's how to send it back
If any of the above situations pertains to you, you may need to send your stimulus check back. Here's how to do it for each scenario, per the IRS.
1. Write "VOID" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
2. Do not bend, paper clip or staple the check.
3. On a separate piece of paper, let the IRS know why you're sending the check back.
4. Mail the check to the appropriate IRS location -- it varies depending on which state you live in.
Never received a stimulus payment at all? Here's what to do
If you're among the more than 100 million people who were eligible to receive the second $600 stimulus check and it never arrived, you'll likely need toon your 2020 taxes, even . Alternatively, you may have to .
If you aren't, now's a good time, as a . To do so, you'll need to add your banking information when you file your 2020 taxes this year. We also encourage you to because of stimulus checks. Remember the , but you can .
To stay updated on the latest stimulus check news, check. If you're having stimulus check problems, . Also, here's what's happening right now with a potential .