Report finds American Rescue Plan gave $64 million in stimulus to deceased persons

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News


The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report on March 21 which details how the advanced tax credits from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) were used. Included in the report is a detail which notes that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mistakenly issued about 45,000 payments to “deceased dependents,” totaling almost $64 million.

The report, titled “American Rescue Plan Act: Implementation of Advance Recovery Rebate Credit Payments,” noted a particular section of “programming errors” that resulted in “erroneous advance payments.”

“Our analysis of advance RRC payments issued as of September 16, 2021, identified 60,824 potentially erroneous payments totaling $109 million that resulted from various IRS computer programming errors,” the report said. Of these payments, “44,903 payments totaling $63,663,600” were “issued for a deceased dependent.”

The report clarifies that “that individuals with a date of death prior to January 1, 2021, are not eligible for an advance RRC payment.” The IRS was soon notified, but the error still happened over 400 times.

We alerted the IRS to this programming error in April 2021. IRS management agreed that these payments were issued erroneously. However, IRS management did not provide their corrective action to address future erroneous payments. We identified 406 additional payments for a deceased dependent that were issued after we alerted IRS management.

As a whole, the Inspector General states that “the IRS issued more than 1.2 million payments totaling $1.9 billion to potentially ineligible individuals.” In addition to those who erroneously received payments, the Inspector General also found “644,705 potentially eligible individuals who had not received payments totaling $1.6 billion.”