Continue Reading Below
Nearly 70 percent of those payments have been recovered, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office, which cited a Treasury official.
GAO noted, however, that it was unable to verify that statistic before the report came out.
In total, about $1.6 billion was sent to decedents.
As previously reported by FOX Business, last month the IRS said it canceled outstanding payments issued to people who were ineligible, including decedents.
The agency asked people who found these payments made to dead family members or friends to return them in May.
National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said the IRS was aware checks were being sent to dead individuals.
Under the terms of the CARES Act, dead individuals were not specifically prohibited from receiving the money, so the IRS systems were not programmed to exclude them.
Collins said if payments were made by the IRS despite the fact that it had information that an individual was dead, it should not spend resources pursuing the decedent’s estate or family members.