Coronavirus news: Stimulus money to dead must be returned, direct deposit deadline passes

WASHINGTON (WABC) -- The IRS deadline for taxpayers who want to get their economic impact payments directly deposited to their bank accounts passed Wednesday, while officials now say money sent to deceased people must be returned by their loved ones.

So far, 130 million stimulus payments have been delivered, but many are still waiting for their money.

If you haven't received your stimulus, one reason might be because you didn't file your 2018 or 2019 taxes. But you have until July 15 -- the new tax deadline -- to file.

Meanwhile, Charlie Shreck is among an estimated thousands who got a grim reminder of loss last month, a direct deposit for his late wife who died in 2018.

Now that money is signed, sealed and about to be delivered back to the US Treasury.

"I'm upset it took so long to be able to send it back," he said.

Neal Gabriel is executor of his stepmom's estate. He got the $1,200 economic impact payment for her even though she died in last year.

"It's government waste," he said. "I'd rather have our tax money go to the appropriate people."

After both men flagged 7 On Your Side, we alerted the IRS. But the agency didn't set up a way to receive the funds sent out in error until now.

The IRS hasn't said whether it will claw back the money later, but don't forget the feds came looking for Superstorm Sandy payments already spent by victims to fix up their homes.

"I think it might come back to bite you in the butt, if you don't send it back," Gabriel said.

If you got a paper check, simply write "Void" where'd you'd normally endorse and send it back to the IRS.

If you cashed the check or got a direct deposit, send a check payable to "U.S Treasury" including the check's recipient Social Security number in the memo field back to the IRS with a brief explanation of the reason for the return.

IRS link with full instructions (See Question 41).

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