Why some people should return their stimulus checks

Coronavirus

(File/Getty)

(NEXSTAR) – After millions of Americans received their stimulus checks as part of the U.S. government’s third round of COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments, it might seem crazy to give the money back.

So who would ever consider returning stimulus money? Those who might want to hand back their $1,400 stimulus checks include people who find themselves in the following groups:

Ineligible recipients

“Nonresident aliens” weren’t eligible to receive the $1,400 stimulus check in the first place and should return the money, according to the IRS. The classification refers to people who are not U.S. citizens, who don’t have a green card and haven’t been in the country for the required amount of time.

Non-U.S. citizens with Social Security numbers who aren’t claimed as a dependent are, however, eligible to receive a $1,400 stimulus check.

False claims on social media alleged that the Biden administration was going to send stimulus checks to immigrants in the country illegally, according to the Associated Press. While a fact check found the rumors largely untrue because such immigrants don’t have Social Security numbers, a small number who were given Social Security numbers as part of a temporary work program may have overstayed their visas and received checks.

Unable to cash a check

For another group of recipients, the stimulus checks can’t be cashed because the person whose name is on the check has died.

The third round of stimulus checks should not have gone out to anyone who died before Jan. 1, 2021, according to the IRS.

For some married recipients, however, they may have trouble cashing a stimulus check that has both spouses’ names on it. Those people should return the check so it can be re-issued with the surviving spouse’s name on it per the IRS’ instructions.

Don’t want or need the money

The last group of stimulus check recipients who might return the pandemic windfall are those who feel a moral obligation to do so.

It’s not clear how many people may have sent their $1,400 checks back to the government once they arrived, but not a single Republican voted for it with many complaining about the price tag.

While the American Rescue Plan and its $1,400 stimulus checks received broad support among voters on both sides of the political aisle, if any still wish to give their checks back the IRS has created a way to do it.

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 brief explanation 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.

Here are the mailing addresses to be used based on what state you are in. See the IRS website for more information.

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