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The IRS issued updated guidance on Wednesday regarding how both nonresident aliens and family members, relatives or friends of dead individuals who received economic impact payments can send those checks back to the government.
On its website, the agency clarified that neither nonresident aliens nor dead Americans are eligible for the payments and instructed that, unless the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse is still alive, the entire check should be returned.
The return instructions differ based on whether the payment was made by paper check or direct deposit.
For those who received a paper check, individuals should write “void” on the check and mail it to a designated IRS location, which can be found here. A note should be included detailing why the payment is being returned.
For direct deposits, the agency is asking that people submit a money order or personal check to the specified IRS location. Checks should be 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 the check. An explanation of why the money is being returned should also be included.
It is unclear whether there will be any repercussions if the money is not returned by relatives of the deceased. The update was first reported by Politico.
However, as previously reported by FOX Business, nonresident aliens received the payments because they filed the wrong tax returns. That is considered tax fraud and can result in a range of immigration-related penalties, ranging from being denied re-entry to deportation.
While the agency has been rapidly processing $1,200 and $2,400-plus checks for tens of millions of American households, there have been some mishaps along the way. Some people have reported that dead relatives or friends were sent the money, which was distributed based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
Additionally, foreign workers who came to the U.S. as nonresident aliens have been sent the checks as well, due to a filing error. These individuals have also been asked to file an amended tax return fixing their initial mistake.