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I have two questions.

1) I recently received a lump sum severance package. The taxes were overwithheld on it. I did go back and read previous posts on this subject and do realize why, however my question is: is there a more rapid alternative to getting a refund besides filing as soon as I receive my 2001 W2 next year? I'm not crazy about giving the government a tax-free loan of that money.

2)Since unemployment payments are subject to federal taxes, are they considered wages for IRA contribution purposes?

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