Stimulus Money Problems

(WSVN) - Many South Floridians still have not received their stimulus check from the government. Others received checks meant for a dead spouse or even for someone else. How can everyone get help with their problem? It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Mention stimulus money and some people say, “Wow,” while other people say, “Ow.”

Woman: “I’m calling to see why I didn’t get my stimulus check.”

Caller: “And I need some help. I never received my stimulus check.”

Millions haven’t received their stimulus money.

Juliette and Paula got the money and can’t get rid of it.

Paula Cole: “They gave me $2,400. First was like, ‘Why?'”

Juliette Lewis-Martin: “And I thought it was a joke.”

Let’s start with Juliette. When she opened the mailbox, there was a $1,200 check sent to her address for Yves Claude Danastor.

Juliette Lewis-Martin: “I called my friend. I said, ‘Do you know this person?’ She said, ‘No!'”

Juliette could have sent it back to the IRS, but then, the man would probably never have gotten his $1,200, and Juliette didn’t want that to happen.

Juliette Lewis-Martin: “And I just felt that burden. This person is waiting on this check.”

We started looking for Yves everywhere you could imagine.

We couldn’t find him, so Howard, now what does Juliette do?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “If Yves doesn’t see this story and call us to get the check, Juliette should write void on the check, put a note that Yves does not live at that address and send it back to the IRS.”

Now, to Paula. When she got two stimulus deposits, she knew the other one was for her husband who passed away two years ago.

Paula Cole, late husband got stimulus money: “What should I do about this extra $1,200 that I got for my deceased husband?”

The money for Gordon was directly deposited into Paula’s account.

Paula Cole: “I know I’m not supposed to have it, but I don’t want to mail them a check.”

Paula fears if she mails the $1,200 back to the IRS, they won’t realize why they got it, and years from now, may accuse her of keeping her late husband’s money.

Paula Cole: “I wish I would just have gotten the $1,200 like I was supposed to. It definitely brought up memories of my husband again.”

Well, Howard, how can Paula guarantee the $1,200 is returned, and she doesn’t get blamed for keeping it?

Howard Finkelstein: “If you got a deceased relative’s check, just write void on it, explain in a note why you are returning it and send it back to the IRS. If it’s a direct deposit like Paula got, you need to write a personal check or money order to the U.S. Treasury with a note explaining why you are returning it, and this is important: you have to write 2020 EIP and the social security number of the deceased person on the check or money order. Then, if the IRS comes after you in a few years, you have the cancelled check to prove you returned the money.”

Of course, then there are the people who still have not received their $1,200 stimulus money.

Caller: “I have not received my stimulus check, so please give me a call and let me know what I can do.”

Howard, what do they do?

Howard Finkelstein: “Either you made too much money, someone claimed you as a dependent, the IRS doesn’t have the correct address, and it went to an old address. The list of reasons is long. The solution is to go to the IRS website, sign in and see if you can correct the mistake.”

Whether you got stimulus money you were not entitled to or didn’t get money you are entitled to, either way, you need to get it straightened out.

Paula Cole: “I’d like to get it fixed in case they ever gave us another check.”

If you need to correct a mistake the IRS made, if you need to send money back and need to know the address, or if you didn’t get a stimulus check and know you are entitled to it, the link to find out why and how to fix the problems is down below.

Get the problem resolved, so you can get your money, and if you know Yves Claude Danastor, tell him to get in touch with us before Juliette sends the check back to the IRS, and if you have a problem created by the coronavirus or any other problem that has popped up in your life, let us know. We are always here to help you.

Stimulus money questions and answers 

How to get your stimulus check

If you are not required to file a tax return but entitled to a stimulus check, click here.

Question: What do I do with a deceased family member’s stimulus money?

Answer: irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

A10. No, a payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.

A54. You should return the payment as described below:

If the payment was a paper check:

1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
3. Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

For your paper check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use for Florida:

Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S. Interregional Highway 35
Austin, TX 78741

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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