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The IRS sent more than $1 billion in stimulus checks to dead people

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The IRS sent more than $1 billion in stimulus checks to dead people

The Internal Revenue Service sent out 1.1 million stimulus checks to dead people totaling $1.4 billion, according to a new report from a government watchdog agency.

As the IRS hurried to process direct payments to Americans reeling from the coronavirus outbreak, the Government Accountability Office said the tax agency didn’t use Social Security death records to filter out payments to the deceased.

The $1.4 billion paid to dead people accounts for 0.5% of the total value of stimulus checks.

The watchdog agency noted Thursday it recommended a way for the IRS to avoid sending stimulus checks to dead people back in 2013, after some Great Recession-era stimulus checks went to the dead.

At that time, more than 71,500 dead Social Security recipients were paid a total $18 million of the $13 billion allotted for all Social Security recipients in the Obama-era stimulus package, according to the Social Security Administration’s Inspector General.

The IRS used those 2013 recommendations to create a process where it used death records to update taxpayer accounts.

But it didn’t use the controls when it came to stimulus checks and “substantially increased the risk of potentially making improper payments to decedents,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

As of May 31, the IRS has distributed 160.4 million stimulus checks, dubbed “economic impact payments” either as direct deposits, paper checks or debit card. The payments totaled $269.3 billion.


When the dead people start cashing them, then we have a problem.

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I believe that one should keep in mind that this refers only to those cases where it is known that the recipient is dead. Figures vary widely as to how many are 'kept alive' as far as government documents are concerned so that relatives may continue to receive benefits.

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