How to Return a Stimulus Check You Weren’t Supposed to Get

Written by |

If you received a coronavirus stimulus payment that you weren’t supposed to get, don’t cash that check! The IRS has updated its website with instructions on how to return the money.

Some payments went out to people who didn’t qualify, including nonresident aliens, incarcerated people and deceased taxpayers.

IRS Issues Guidance for Returning Stimulus Checks 

If someone died before receiving the payment, the IRS says the check should be returned. There’s an exception if the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse is alive. In that case, only a portion of the payment should be returned.

There are different instructions on how to return the payment depending on how you got it.

For example, if you received the payment via direct deposit or you already cashed a paper check, you’ll need to mail a check or money order to the IRS, payable to the U.S. Treasury, for the portion you weren’t supposed to get.

If you received a paper check and haven’t cashed it, you can void the Treasury check and return it.

The IRS has several mailing addresses. You’ll want to check this FAQ page for complete instructions and to find the appropriate address based on the state where you live.

While we can’t currently accept phone calls to our Consumer Action Center helpline, we can still answer your money questions! Visit to submit your question and a Consumer Action Center volunteer will call you as soon as possible.

More Content From 

Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses for 2023 - If you're in the market for a new credit card in 2023, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in sign-up bonuses offered to new customers. Welcome bonuses and offers are a marketing tool that…
The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans in 2023: The Cheapest Plan for Every Need - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.