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Stimulus checks being sent to deceased taxpayers

How to get your stimulus check faster
Posted at 6:41 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:41:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s another question that keeps coming into the 7 Eyewitness Newsroom, this one concerning stimulus checks.

One viewer from Niagara Falls sent us an e-mail saying her mother, who died in 2018 received a $1,200 stimulus check.

She writes, “I understand that the government was in a hurry to try to get this money out, but clearly made no attempt to filter out the deceased.”

Another viewer on Twitter told us her father died that same year, and Monday, she received a stimulus check for him.

“At first when this started happening, it was up in the air. I researched it,” said Christopher Fabian of E.G. Tax.

We took your questions to the experts. Christoper Fabian is the Vice President of Tax Operations at E.G. Tax. He says his office is fielding calls every day on this very topic.

“They call and ask ‘is it mine? Can I go spend it all,” he said.

Fabian says when the checks first started to arrive in bank accounts, he saw a lot of different guidance.

“I saw a lot of different stories, some that said to spend it.”

The Government says they want that money back, and you could be responsible for it if it’s gone.

“They’re going to start requesting that money back,” he said. “You’re going to have to mail back the money to the IRS or the Department of Treasury.”

We called the IRS, looking for answer. The media representative did get back to us saying there is no formal statement on this issue at this time.

The Associated Press is reporting the IRS is “aware of the problem and working to resolve it.” The AP also says ,”experts say because of a lag in reporting data on who is deceased, the error is almost inevitable and has occurred with past stimulus payments as well.”

But what if you haven’t received your check at all yet? Fabian says there are a lot of technological glitches in the system making it difficult for people to figure out where there money is.

To check the status of your check, go to IRS.gov and click on “Get My Payment.”