CARES Act: What if Payment is Received for a Deceased Person?

By Katie Seay on May 14, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law March 27, 2020, provides for direct financial assistance to individuals through “Economic Impact Payments,” which are tax credits for the 2020 tax year. Payment amounts are based on an individual’s most recent federal tax filing, which could be 2019 or 2018. For individuals with adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples who filed jointly), payments amount to:


  • $2,400 to each married couple filing jointly or $1,200 to each other individual, and
  • $500 for each dependent who is a qualifying child under age 17 as of December 31, 2020.


For those with AGI exceeding $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per married couple filing jointly, payment amounts are reduced. Details on eligibility and payment amounts can be found at the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center, at


Economic Impact Payments are being made both by electronic funds transfer and by check, depending on the most recent information the IRS has on file. One of the unfortunate results of relying on previous years’ filing information is that individuals who are recently deceased may be sent an Economic Impact Payment in error. The IRS has recently published guidance on this situation, and the following is copied directly from the Economic Impact Payment Information Center.


Q10. Does someone who has died qualify for the Payment? (added May 6, 2020)


A10. No. 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. 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. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.


A41. You should return the payment as described below.

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  3. Don't staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check. 

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.


For your paper check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use based on the state:

If you live in…

then mail to this address

Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont

Andover Internal Revenue Service
310 Lowell St.
Andover, MA 01810

Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia

Atlanta Internal Revenue Service
4800 Buford Hwy
Chamblee, GA 30341

Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas

Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

New York

Brookhaven Internal Revenue Service
5000 Corporate Ct.
Holtsville, NY 11742

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Fresno Internal Revenue Service
5045 E Butler Avenue
Fresno, CA 93888

Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia

Kansas City Internal Revenue Service
333 W Pershing Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108

Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee

Memphis Internal Revenue Service
5333 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118

District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

Philadelphia Internal Revenue Service
2970 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory*, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien.

Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741


Keep in mind that the information shared here is current as of our posting date. For the most current information, refer to the IRS Website. If you have questions about your Economic Impact Payment, speak with your Financial Advisor or a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Our experts at The Trust Company are here to help. Contact us.