The Dead May Get Relief Payments After All

The Dead May Get Relief Payments After All

Flickr/Emmet Tullos

It looks like being dead may not get in the way of receiving another stimulus check, after all.

We told you in June that, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the Trump administration had sent nearly $1.4 billion in coronavirus relief payments to Americans who were no longer among the living. The roughly 1.1 million payments were sent despite an awareness of the problem, in order to get the money out as quickly as possible, as required by the CARES Act.

The IRS began to filter out payments to the deceased after some technical and legal issues were cleared up, but according to Politico Wednesday, the relief package from Senate Republicans includes language that would allow some taxpayers to receive relief payments despite having shuffled off this mortal coil.

“So long as someone died this year, they would be eligible for the $1,200 payments included in the plan,” Politico’s Brian Faler says. “Not just that, Senate Republicans would also make them retroactively eligible for the previous round of stimulus checks.”

A spokesperson for Senate Finance Committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that providing the payments would be consistent with how the government typically treats the recently deceased.

But some tax experts said the move would be confusing, especially since the administration recently acted to restrict such payments. “To have all of this within one year — it’s whiplash,” former IRS lawyer Philip Hackney told Politico. “It makes the head spin.”