Millions of Americans are anxiously waiting for the second stimulus checks. However, new data reveals that thousands may have already got two coronavirus stimulus checks. The second check is not from the next stimulus package, rather they got the second check because of some mistake with the first round.
Two coronavirus stimulus checks
A recent report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration noted that 98% of the stimulus payments sent by the IRS were correct. This means of nearly 157 million checks sent as of May 21, nearly 154 million were accurate.
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The rest were inaccurate, either the amount was wrong, or they were sent to the wrong people. Further, the report noted that thousands of Americans got two coronavirus stimulus checks, according to Fox Business.
Many of those who got two coronavirus stimulus checks are confused about what to do with the second one, whether they should spend it or keep it aside, in case the IRS asks them to give it back.
“I received my first IRS stimulus check on April 15, 2020 via direct deposit to my bank account.... Today, my wife received a $1,200 stimulus bank account in her bank account,” an nj.com reader said previously. “Was this is a mistake? Do we have to return it?”
As of May 21, about 46,760 (worth about $69 million) people got two coronavirus stimulus checks. Many such people included those who filed as "married filing jointly" in 2018, but in 2019 they filed as single, or vice versa.
It is possible that money was sent automatically to the bank account or address mentioned on the joint tax return without any cross-check to confirm if both spouses are still together.
IRS wants such money back
Along with people getting two coronavirus stimulus checks, there have been cases of money being sent to incarcerated people, deceased taxpayers and nonresident aliens. About 1.2 million checks were sent to dead or incarcerated individuals, while 309,601 payments likely went to nonresidents.
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) wants people who received an additional check or payment by mistake, to return it. The agency has already issued guidelines on how people can return the stimulus checks.
To return a check, one needs to write “void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Also, they need to detail the reason for returning the check. Those who got an extra payment through direct deposit need to return the amount via check. On the check, you should write payable to “U.S. Treasury” and 2020EIP.
It must be noted that the IRS has not issued any guideline on what happens if those who got a stimulus payment by mistake don’t return it. The CARES Act also has no provision that allows the IRS to take back the money it distributed during the coronavirus pandemic.