Many Americans faced a dilemma last year when they received $1,200 stimulus payments for their deceased spouses or other family members. They were left wondering what to do with the money and whether they had to send it back.

The coronavirus pandemic has left many filers in a difficult tax situation for the 2021 filing season after their family members unexpectedly passed away from the disease over the past year. The U.S. currently has 29.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 528,000 people have lost their lives, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Last spring, the IRS asked family members of the deceased to return the money after roughly 1.1 million payments, totaling almost $1.4 billion, were mistakenly sent to dead people in the first round of checks, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. 

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