The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued some guidance about how to return an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) or stimulus check. That is, assuming that you want to.

To be clear, the payment is NOT taxable. It will NOT negatively affect your 2020 tax return (it won’t decrease your refund or increase how much you owe). And despite some bluster from IRS about returning checks for decedents and incarcerated persons, I don’t know that there is any procedure – to date – that would support the IRS’ position: there is no clawback provision in the CARES Act.

That being said, if you want to return your check, here’s how the IRS says to do it:

  • If the payment was a paper check, write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check and mail “immediately” (yes, the IRS says “immediately”) to the appropriate IRS address listed below.
  • If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit, submit a personal check, money order, etc., made payable to “U.S. Treasury” with 2020EIP and the taxpayer identification number (social security number,  or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient on the check. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP and mail it “immediately” (yep, again) to the appropriate IRS address listed below.

Here are the addresses:

If you still have questions about your stimulus payment, check with your tax or legal professional.

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Author

Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.

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