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I filed my 2011 taxes on-time and owed about $1000, which I paid with my return. In June I received a check from the US treasury department for $140 for an 'overtax refund'. Besides that one line on the check there was no explanation. I looked over my return and could not find any errors. I was expecting at least a letter with an explanation.

If the IRS authorized the check you should have gotten a separate explanation. (FMS actually issues the government's checks after getting an authorization from the agency.) Unless you saved a copy of the check and are referring to it now, I think your memory is faulty as to the wording of the explanation. I've never heard of an "overtax refund."

If you're curious enough, go to On the home page, under "Tools," you'll find a way to request transcripts. If you get one of both the return in question and the account (different error possibilities) you should find the explanation.

For your future reference and for lurkers, the way to approach a check you think is erroneous and authorized by the IRS is to resolve it before you cash it. Otherwise, if it turns out to be erroneous you'll owe interest even if it was their error. Their time limit is either 10 years or 2 years, depending on the type of error that created the overpayment.

Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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