The IRS must check with another federal agency to get a list of the deceased.
It was previously unclear whether family members could keep the money, but the tax authorities now say that the entire payout must be returned, unless the deceased was married and provided tax returns along with a spouse who is still alive. In that case, only the part of the payment belonging to the deceased must be returned, the agency informs. For example, if the couple received $ 2400, $ 1200 must be returned.
The tax authorities started sending money to those who had already submitted a tax return from 2018 or 2019. The tax authorities have sent more than 122 million payments, for a total of $ 207 billion, since April 11.
The agency also clarified on Wednesday that other people who may have received a payment but are not qualified, including those who are incarcerated, must also return the money.
Eligibility is largely income-based, and it excludes individuals who earn more than $ 99,000, heads of single-child householders earning more than $ 136,500, and married couples without children earning more than $ 198,000.
Families that earn a little more can still be eligible if they have children. The phase-out limit depends on how many children they have. For a typical family of four, the amount will be fully paid out to those with incomes in excess of $ 218,000.
Those who can be claimed as tax-dependent, like many students, are also not eligible for the payments, as well as undocumented immigrants who do not have social security numbers.
Payments are worth up to $ 1200 for individuals, and $ 2,400 for couples – plus $ 500 per dependent.