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i filed a 1040x for 2001 in january 2003, and just received a statement of account and the refund check in the mail (in two separate envelopes). the 1040x showed an increase in taxable income of $334, and a refund due of $1219. however, the statement of account records the increase in taxable income as an increase in tax, and the refund due as a credit. so the refund was calculated as $1219 - 334 = 885.

i have three questions:

1. are these sorts of errors common? i would think that there would be some sort of internal accounting that would prevent a refund check being issued for other than the amount shown on line 23 of the 1040x ("amount you want refunded to you"). note that i didn't get a letter disputing my calculations, just a statement using the numbers on my return in a creative manner.

2. i live overseas, so calling is not a good option for me. but due to the nature of the error, i am concerned that trying to resolve this through the mail is going to take a lot of back and forth. are my concerns justified, or is this simpler than i think?

3. should i wait to cash the check until this is resolved? or should i go ahead and cash this check, after which i will receive another one for the difference?

thanks,

c.
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