Stimulus checks sent to the dead should be returned, Mnuchin says

The government’s coronavirus stimulus is only for the living.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said anyone who has received a $1,200 stimulus payment for a deceased relative should return it.

“You’re not supposed to keep that payment,” Mnuchin told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

“We’re checking the databases, but there could be a scenario where we missed something, and yes, the heirs should be returning that money.”

The payments were part of the most recent, $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last month.

It’s not clear how many payments were doled out to those who have passed or what measures the IRS will go to get that money back.

The payouts are legally considered a new tax credit for the 2023 tax year, based on 2018 or 2019 tax filings, meaning Americans who died in the last two years could still have been issued payments.

The Journal reported one instance where a woman received a stimulus payment for her husband who died in 2018.

Trump earlier this month described the amount of money sent to the deceased as negligible, but still worth having the government pursue.

“Everything we’re going to get back,” Trump said on April 17. “But it’s a tiny amount.”


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