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The IRS says stimulus checks issued to dead people don’t need to be returned

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  • The IRS says it’s canceling stimulus checks sent to dead people and they no longer need to be returned.
  • A government report in late June found the agency had distributed $1.4 billion to dead people, though that made up a small portion of the overall $269 billion federal payout.
  • Congress and the Trump administration are now debating whether to send a second round of direct payments for Americans.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Internal Revenue Service said it’s canceling stimulus checks issued to dead people and that the payments no longer need to be sent back after a review of its procedures. The agency had previously said family members of the deceased would have to return them.

In March, Congress authorized a wave of direct $1,200 payments for individuals earning up to $75,000 a year, plus $500 for each dependent child under the CARES Act. Joint filers could get the full check if they earned up to $150,000. A family of four was eligible to receive $3,400.

Read more: UBS lays out how a 2nd-wave coronavirus lockdown could lead to a devastating situation for stocks — one Wall Street has been warning about for months

Scrambling to get the direct payments out the door as quickly as possible starting in mid-April, the IRS sent $1.4 billion in federal cash to dead people, a recent report from the Government Accountability Office found. But that made up a sliver of the $269 billion government payout that has reached 160 million Americans so far.

Congress and the Trump administration are now weighing a second round of direct payments as debate ramps up on another economic relief package. President Donald Trump supports additional checks.

Republicans are weighing whether to tighten the eligibility for people to get the government cash, The Washington Post reported. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week stimulus checks could be sent to people earning $40,000 and under. But that step could leave out as many as 20 million Americans.

Democrats, on the other hand, are pushing for another round of stimulus checks with the same income thresholds under the CARES Act.

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