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Due to the annual discrimination test, part of my 401(k) contribution (and respective earnings) were returned to me as excess contributions. The claim from my company is that they are taxable for TY2000. However, I received the funds today (March 21) which is after the 2 1/2 months after the plan year (which I would think makes it part of TY2001 income according to Pub 525). However, the date on the check is March 15. The date on the letter accompanying the check is March 19 (so the company didn't plan to distribute checks before March 15). I received the check on March 21 in a standard mailing to employees (no post mark, distributed through company mail). Of course, my tax return is already put together and filed. Which factor rules in this case as to which year to apply the excess contribution?

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