Nearly 1.1 million coronavirus relief payments totaling some $1.4 billion went to dead people, said Gene Dodaro, head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He's recommended that the IRS work proactively to get the money back. (June 26)
GENE DODARO: At IRS, the treasury inspector general for tax administration identified 1.4 million payments of $1.4 billion of aid that was provided to deceased. We recommend IRS take more measures to get that money back. They've done so.
We also recommend that Congress give Treasury the authority to have the master desk file from Social Security Administration so they can prevent these payments from being made not just here, but across the range of the federal government's activities.
My own mother received a payment. She unfortunately passed away in February 2018, and my sister got it on behalf of my mother. And right on the check it said, deceased. You know, she sent me a picture of it. Of course she returned it. A lot of other people didn't know. IRS only posted on their website, if you got one of these please return it. What we're suggesting is they have a proactive approach.
Actually, since our report was issued yesterday, a couple citizens have already emailed us to say they have these checks and want to know how to return them. So IRS agreed they're going to do it. But Congress needs to pass this legislation. I think it's very important. Because it's not only just the IRS stimulus payments-- it could be payments for agriculture, education, or whatever. So I would encourage you to do that. There's been legislation introduced, but it's not been put over the goal line yet.