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However refunds received in 1999 for calendar year 1998 are considered as income for 1999 and must be reported on Form 1040 itself.

Most of the time if you itemize deductions but not always. If the refund lowers the prior year's itemized deductions below the standard deduction level, then the amount which is below the standard deduction level is not considered income, only the portion above standard deduction level.
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