Widower Can't Cash IRS Check With Dead Wife's Name Added

The IRS says:

"If you are a surviving spouse and you receive a tax refund check in both your name and your deceased spouse's name, you can have the check reissued in your name alone. Return the joint-name check marked “VOID” to your local IRS office or the service center where you mailed your return, along with a written request for reissuance of the refund check. A new check will be issued in your name and mailed to you."

You would expect a tax refund check to be as good as gold, but an Omaha man had to send his back because nobody would cash it.

“This is all I have." Married for six years, death parted Robert and 43-year-old Yolanda McGhee. “They went to unclog her arteries and she didn't make it through it."

More than a year after his wife's death, the Internal Revenue Service had them together on Robert's $1,500 federal tax refund check. “All my paperwork has deceased on it so why would they even add her on the check anyway?”

The IRS put “deceased” on the refund, but also the + sign, so without his dead wife’s signature, neither a bank or check casher will cash it. “If it had ‘or’ on there we could have cashed it."

Robert sent the check back to the IRS. He needs that $1,500 refund check and soon so he can get a new transmission, but he's been waiting two months for a check that doesn't include his deceased wife's name like the one he sent back. “They have it but they're not doing anything with it ‘cause they are looking it over again. I'm like why, it’s already been approved.”

Robert keeps checking his mailbox for a replacement check from the IRS. “It didn't take them this long to take the money." Robert hopes the IRS will realize soon that he and his wife are together in his heart, but not on his tax refund.

The IRS tells Fact Finders the agency can't comment on any specific case. Its website says it generally takes six to eight weeks to send out a new refund check if there are issues with the first one.

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