The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in an update, said that people who are incarcerated do not qualify for pandemic stimulus payments.
Tens of millions of payments of up to $1,200 were doled out to Americans last month after President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus legislation. It was approved after numerous businesses and companies were forced to shutter to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“A payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS,” the agency wrote on its website, adding that such individuals do not qualify.
“For a Payment made with respect to a joint return where only one spouse is incarcerated, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the incarcerated spouse,” said the IRS, noting that a “person is incarcerated if he or she is described in one or more of clauses (i) through (v) of Section 202(x)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 402(x)(1)(A)(i) through (v)).”
The agency does not mention payments for children of incarcerated people. Under the stimulus package, children under the age of 17 are eligible for $500.
Meanwhile, the IRS and Treasury Department said that more than 130 million payments have been sent out so far. The first payments were issued in early April.
The information used to distribute those payments is based on prior tax returns filed in 2018 and 2019.
In addition, the IRS said in its updated question-and-answer section that payments should be returned if they were made to someone who died before the payment was issued. It falls in line with remarks that were made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who told the Wall Street Journal those payments should be sent back to the IRS.
“You’re not supposed to keep that payment,” Mnuchin told the news outlet last month. “We’re checking the databases, but there could be a scenario where we missed something, and yes, the heirs should be returning that money.”
In one instance, North Carolina resident Heather Frazier told the Journal that she got a $1,200 direct deposit for her husband, Rob, who died in 2018.
“My husband was a wonderful money manager, and I think he would be happy to know he was still getting a stimulus payment,” she added. “If they want the money back or whatever, I’ll pay it back.”