February 13, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Too much stimulus send it back. Tens of millions of Americans waited months for a second stimulus check to by approved. within days of December's COVID-19 relief bill being signed into law, the U.S. Treasury and IRS moved quickly to send out the second direct payment in order to meet the Jan. 15 deadline. With little time to fully confirm who qualified for the second payment, it's possible you may have received a check in error. The IRS admitted to sending stimulus checks to non-eligible people by mistake with the first relief payment, and it could have happened again. If you received a check you weren't supposed to---for example, you got stimulus money even though you make more than the income limit specified in the bill---the IRS expects you to send back the payment. And depending on how you received the stimulus money---by mail or direct deposit---there are specific ways you would need to go about the return. Too much stimulus send it back.

The reasons to return the second stimulus check: You received the check for someone who has died---there's some nuance to this. You don't have a Social Security number. You're considered a "nonresident alien" without a U.S. citizen spouse. You're a noncitizen who files federal taxes. Your adjusted gross income exceeds the limit, for example, $87,000 for a single taxpayer. You're claimed as a dependent on someone else's taxes.

How to send a check back to the IRS. Write VOID on the endorsement section of the back of the check. Do not bend, paper clip or staple the check. On a separate piece of paper, let the IRS know why you're sending the check back. Mail the check to the appropriate IRS location---it varies depending on which state you live in. If you were among the tens of millions who were eligible to receive the second stimulus check and you haven't received it, you may be eligible to claim it as a Recovery Credit on your taxes.