Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stimulating the Dead

I received a $600 economic stimulus check this week as the executor of my deceased father's estate.  The IRS's Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center indicates that is the normal practice:

  • Q. If an individual dies, what happens to his or her direct deposit or stimulus check?
  • A. Stimulus payments will be issued in the name of the individual eligible for payment on a filed 2007 income tax return or to the account designated by the individual on that return. This includes situations where a person dies after filing a return or where the final 2007 income tax return was filed by a personal representative or surviving spouse. Any issues or concerns involving a decedent's filed return or the related stimulus payment should be addressed by the legal representative of the decedent's estate.

What is the purpose for making economic stimulus payments to dead people?

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Tracked on Jul 9, 2008 12:01:39 PM


Here in Oregon, of course, we know the answer: Under our ballot-by-mail system, many people continue to vote after they have died, and the politicians are just buying their votes, the same way they're doing with those of us in the land of the living.

Posted by: Jack Bogdanski | Jul 9, 2008 9:22:15 PM

Hey, if the dead can't revive the dead [murdered] economy, who can?

Posted by: Thomas Mc | Jul 9, 2008 11:20:18 AM

Isn't the primary point of the stimulus check that the money be spent, not that it be spent by a particular person? 2007 taxable income is just a readily available, more or less fair, metric for divying up the total amount of the stimulus.

Posted by: Blue Valentine | Jul 9, 2008 11:18:30 AM

It will be quite a hassle for estates that have closed. Need to re-open or just hope the bank may cash the check.

Posted by: Mike O'Connor | Jul 9, 2008 8:57:29 AM

Assuming your question is not rhetorical . . . Perhpas it's more efficient than culling through the local death records to see which taxpayers are no longer alive (though if you've filed a tax return indicating the taxpayer is deceased, that shoots that theory).

Posted by: Jason Kilborn | Jul 9, 2008 7:07:27 AM

It's probably cheaper just to pay it than to figure out if the taxpayer died in the interim.

Posted by: J | Jul 9, 2008 6:06:45 AM

Starving the beast.

Posted by: American Enterprise Inanity | Jul 9, 2008 5:30:30 AM

President Bush got confused. Somebody told him the stimulus package was to help "working stiffs."

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Jul 9, 2008 3:45:27 AM