Do People in Jail Get a Stimulus Check?

The IRS released guidance on what people incarcerated in jail or prison should do if they receive a stimulus check.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot of people who you might not think would be getting a stimulus check have received a payment—including dead people. But what about inmates who are locked up in prison? Should they get a stimulus check? And if they get one, should they be able to keep it?

According to the IRS, an incarcerated person does not qualify for a stimulus check. In fact, if a person in jail or prison gets a payment, they're supposed to return it to the IRS immediately. The entire payment should be returned, unless it was made payable to joint filers and only one spouse is incarcerated. In that case, only the portion of the payment for the prisoner needs to be returned (this amount will be $1,200, unless the couple's adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000).

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up
Swipe to scroll horizontally
If you live in…Mail to this address
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, VermontAndover Refund Inquiry Unit1310 Lowell St.Mail Stop 666AAndover, MA 01810
Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, VirginiaAtlanta Refund Inquiry Unit4800 Buford Hwy.Mail Stop 112Chamblee, GA 30341
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, TexasAustin Refund Inquiry Unit3651 S Interregional Hwy. 35Mail Stop 6542Austin, TX 78741
New YorkBrookhaven Refund Inquiry Unit5000 Corporate Ct.Mail Stop 547Holtsville, NY 11742
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, WyomingFresno Refund Inquiry Unit5045 E Butler Ave.Mail Stop B2007Fresno, CA 93888
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West VirginiaKansas City Refund Inquiry Unit333 W Pershing Rd.Mail Stop 6800, N-2Kansas City, MO 64108
Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, TennesseeMemphis Refund Inquiry Unit5333 Getwell Rd.Mail Stop 8422Memphis, TN 38118
District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode IslandPhiladelphia Refund Inquiry Unit2970 Market St.DP 3-L08-151Philadelphia, PA 19104
A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alienAustin Refund Inquiry Unit3651 S Interregional Hwy. 35Mail Stop 6542 AUSCAustin, TX 78741

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.