Deceased taxpayers receiving Automatic Taxpayer Refund payments


CARMEL — The state of Indiana is sending automatic tax refund checks to deceased people, leaving some families unsure of what to do with them.

Judy Mohler of Carmel lost her father, Richard Macy, in August 2020.

“He was 96 and had a good life,” Mohler said.

Mohler received a paper check from the state of Indiana in her father’s name for $325—that’s both automatic taxpayer payments combined.

“It came in his name and it doesn’t say estate,” Mohler said. “It says not dead.”

The state paid out $125 in the spring and is currently making $200 payments to millions of Indiana taxpayers.

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Mohler said she tried to call the Indiana Department of Revenue but couldn’t get a live person.

“I thought I could get someone and what happens is you get the same shot everywhere,” Mohler said.

So Mohler contacted WRTV Investigates and asked what to do with the $325 check in her father’s name.

“It still doesn’t seem right because he’s dead,” Mohler said. “We wouldn’t cash this check until we were sure.”

WRTV Investigates has contacted the Indiana Department of Revenue.

They have confirmed that they will send checks to deceased taxpayers if they filed tax returns for the 2020 tax year and died after January 1, 2020.

The Indiana Department of Revenue could not tell us how many checks were sent to deceased people.

“Refunds are made to those who filed Indiana resident tax returns for the 2020 tax year, so customers who died after January 1, 2020 but meet other eligibility requirements will receive ATRs as per the information DOR has on file,” read a statement from the Indiana Department of Revenue. “DOR has no information to identify all the deceased, so it is not possible to provide data on that population.”

The state emphasizes that they treat automatic tax refund payments for deceased people the same as regular tax refunds.

“If a person dies, his estate is entitled to any repayment due to that person,” a statement from DOR reads.

Here’s what to do if you receive a check for a deceased loved one.

If a check is issued to a taxpayer who has died, the person’s estate or surviving heir must complete an Affidavit for Division of Estates (State Form 49377) and take it along with the check received to the office of the auditor of the send state.

Judy Mohler was grateful that WRTV Investigates found her answers to her questions.

“Thank you very much,” said Mohler. “Our fear was that we just didn’t want to do anything inappropriate.”

Keep in mind that this is very different from how families were told to handle federal stimulus checks for deceased loved ones.

In most cases, families had to void federal stimulus checks and return the money to the IRS.

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The Indiana Department of Revenue is asking taxpayers to give until November 1 to receive your check or direct deposit.

In fact, they are asking people not to contact the agency regarding the taxpayer’s automatic refunds until November 1.

If you have a consumer or government issue, you can reach the WRTV Investigates team at [email protected]

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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