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Oddly enough (I am tempted to say "suspiciously enough," but I don't want anyone thinking I'm a conspiracy theorist), for the first time in 8 years of filing as Head of Household, THIS year, the IRS "accidently" changed my filing status to Single, which has impacted my tax rebate.

I received a letter from them in June informing me that I owed an additional $1020 in tax. Their figures for my GI and AGI were identical to the ones on my return, so I figured they must have mistakenly changed my filing status. I called and spoke to someone in the Fresno office, who looked at my information and saw that this was exactly what happened. After checking my son's SSN and address on HIS return, he apologized and said they would restore my HOH filing status.

About two weeks later, I received a second letter from them stating that they had erred in changing my filing status, and that I owed no additional tax. So far, so good.

A couple weeks later, I got my card from the IRS informing me that, you guessed it, instead of receiving a $500 rebate as a HOH, I would be receiving a $300 rebate as a Single.

I wrote to the Philadelphia office explaining the situation and enclosed copies of the two letters I had received from the Fresno office - the first telling me I owed more tax, and the second admitting their error and stating that I had originally filed with the correct status, and didn't owe any more tax.

Friday I received a letter from Philadelphia informing me that regardless of whether they were mistaken or not, I can only rectify the situation by claiming a credit on my 2001 taxes. I called the person listed in the letter, who told me they would not be sending out any official document stating that I'm eligible for this credit, but that I should keep my card (which I long since threw away).

Needless to say, I'm rather annoyed that the one year out of eight that it mattered, they inexplicably changed my filing status. And apparently it was a very common occurrence - the representative I spoke to on the phone is doing nothing but dealing with people like me. I hate to sound so paranoid, but...aren't most single moms poor Democrats? :o)

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