What to do if New Mexico sends a stimulus check to a deceased relative?

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 has discovered that the state is sending stimulus checks to people who have died. Some of their families ask why. KRQE News 13 spoke to a woman who says she received two incentive checks this month for her father who passed away nearly a year ago. Not only was she perplexed that she received it, but now she is also having a hard time cashing it in.

Peggy Gunnink told KRQE, “I got a check from the State of New Mexico for $500. But what was interesting was it said “on the estate of” and my father’s name. I looked at it, and I thought, hmm, I don’t know why I’m getting this, my dad’s been dead for almost a year.”

Gunnink says she was told she had to open an account that read “estate of” and the person’s name in order to cash the checks. “I kind of looked at her like how many people have an account that has the estate and the person’s name on it. And she kind of looked at me like, you know, not very much,” she said.

To do that, she would have to call the IRS for a tax identification number. ‘I said, how many of these checks have you seen? And her eyebrows went up a little? And she said, ‘Peggy, we’ve seen a lot of them.’

KRQE asked the state why stimulus checks would go to people who are no longer alive. According to the tax and tax department, laws passed earlier this year during the regular and special sessions do not require a person to be alive to qualify for discounts.

Stephanie Schardin Clarke is the secretary of the IRS. She explains, “If someone was alive for all or part of 2021 and they or their estate has filed on their behalf for that year, they qualify.”

It turns out that there is another solution to this problem. Taxpayers must return the check and provide information that the person has died and then fill out a form. The tax authorities would then reissue the check in their name. says Schardin Clarke. “These goods still belong to the estate of the deceased. And we are there to make sure we can match the property to the right person.”

Once the IRS receives the check, death certificate, and affidavit if required, it will take about a week or two to process and issue a new check. The ministry does not have an exact number of checks sent to deceased people, but it is estimated that several thousand taxpayers will be affected.

Again, if anyone finds themselves in this situation, they must return the check to the department along with a death certificate and an “Affidavit to obtain a refund of NM tax owed to a deceased taxpayer.” That can be found here. Surviving spouses only need the death certificate to reissue a check in their name.

Taxpayers should return the check, completed affidavit (if required), and death certificate to:

New Mexico Department of Taxation and Income

PO Box 25122

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-5122.

A call center is also available for taxpayers to call at 866-285-2996. There is a lot of calling right now, but there is a callback feature that people can opt for.

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