Some people may have to return their $1,400 stimulus check

Millions of Americans were sent a third round of stimulus checks last month in an effort to offset some of the financial burden that many families have endured during the coronavirus pandemic. It was part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

While a lot of people who received the third stimulus check could really use it, unfortunately, some people may have to return the $1,400. But who?

According to the financial publication Kiplinger, nonalien residents are part of the group. 

"Generally, a 'nonresident alien' is not a U.S. citizen, doesn't have a green card, and is not physically present in the U.S. for the required amount of time. On the other hand, a person who's a qualifying resident alien in 2021 is eligible for a third stimulus payment if he or she has a valid Social Security number and isn't claimed as a dependent someone else's tax return."

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Also, anyone who died before January 1, 2021, is not eligible for a third stimulus check.

"The extra $1,400 per dependent is also not available for a parent who died before 2021 or, in the case of a joint return, if both parents died before then."

According to Kiplinger, there is one exception to the eligibility rule: If the person who died is a married member of the U.S. military, the surviving spouse can still get a third stimulus check.

"If you filed a joint 2020 tax return and your spouse died before 2021, your deceased spouse won't be included for purposes of calculating a third stimulus payment. However, you will still receive a stimulus payment for up to $1,400, plus an additional $1,400 for any qualifying dependents."

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If for some reason you don't need or want the money, you can return it on your own. There are different steps to take depending on how you received it.

  • If you received a pre-loaded stimulus debit card: Send the card with a note that you don’t want the money to Money Network Cardholder Services, 2900 Westside Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30004. 
  • If you received a paper check from the IRS:  You’ll need to void the check and send it back to one of the IRS addresses listed on this page. 
  • If the money was direct-deposited into your account:  Send a check payable to the US Treasury, include "Third EIP" and your taxpayer ID number somewhere on the check, and include a brief explanation of why you’re sending it back.

Of course, you could always donate it to a charity of your choice or do something else good with it if you do not want to go through the hassle of returning the money.

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