Must 2021 Stimulus Payment be returned to Government?

Updated: Jun 25

Dear Mr. Premack: My father, a widower, has an account into which Social Security made his monthly deposit. He died on March 30 this year, and on the very next day a deposit appeared in his account from the Treasury marked “economic impact payment”. He had been quite comfortable and paying high taxes for years. His deposited amount was lower than we heard others were receiving. Was this deposited money the pandemic payment that Congress just authorized? Do I have to return the money, or does it stay in the account? – H.O.

This stimulus payment, authorized by Congress and President Biden under the America Rescue Plan Act of 2021, is in the nature of a tax credit. It started to be distributed in mid-March by direct deposit. The prior stimulus payment could only be direct deposited for those who had given the IRS direct de