From what I can tell from my research, only persons who died in 2018 and 2019 have been excluded from receiving stimulus payments. It is clear if someone died in one of those years and received a stimulus payment they must return it. However, what is not clear is what happens if someone died in 2020 and received the second, $600, payment, can their heirs keep it? Or if they died in 2020 and did not receive the $600 can they claim it as a 2020 tax return refund my completing the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet?
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Thank you for your response and providing a link to the IRS Q&A. I can see where the guidance says
"Regarding eligible individuals who died in 2020, the Recovery Rebate Credit may be claimed on line 30 of their 2020 tax return. Please refer to the instructions for the 2020 Form 1040 for more information".
A person who died in 2020 would meet all the criteria as stated in the guidance for "eligible individuals". With that being said, it does seem to be logical that a person would have to be living at the time the payment is issued. For example, if the taxpayer died on January 3, 2020 (which is my case) and did not receive either stimulus payment. Is the conclusion that the heirs claim the refund for both the 1st and 2nd payment if they file a 2020 tax return and include Form 1310 (even if they are not required to file a 2020 tax return due to limited income)?
Let's rethink this part: "With that being said, it does seem to be logical that a person would have to be living at the time the payment is issued."
The Payments are Advances. The Tax returns in 2018 and/or 2019 were used to project what people might be entitled to, because 2020 has the Real Facts for the laws passed by Congress. That's why the 2020 tax form is your reconciliation form = what they qualify for vs what they already got. Think of the people who were married in 2020; or are no longer married in 2020. Children were born in 2020, too. It's only 2020 that matters.
When the money arrived isn't part of any regulation. Some people didn't even get money, due to income limits in the lookback tax year. But, in 2020, perhaps they made No Money at all.
"Is the conclusion that the heirs claim the refund for both the 1st and 2nd payment if they file a 2020 tax return and include Form 1310"
Let's examine this a bit at a time.
It's not a Refund. It's a Refundable Credit that is part of the 1040. And that is assuming your person never got any money in 2019? It's going to be the deceased final tax return.
"Who Must File
If you are claiming a refund on behalf of a deceased taxpayer, you must file Form 1310 if:
• You are NOT a surviving spouse filing an original or amended joint return with the decedent; and
• You are NOT a personal representative (defined later) filing, for the decedent, an original Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040-NR that has the court certificate showing your appointment attached."
"(even if they are not required to file a 2020 tax return due to limited income)?"
They is who, in this discussion? There is nowhere on the 1310 to claim anything specific. It's really like telling a bank: Any money still there needs to be paid out in full. This is not already "in an account" anywhere.