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I'm thinking probably... because of "a lot"

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@A good formal choice, which sounds particularly home-counties English, is "Thank you so much." –  Joe Blow Jun 25 '11 at 5:56
    
Aah yes, Thank you so much :) –  Adel Jun 25 '11 at 16:51
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LOL clever .... –  Joe Blow Jun 25 '11 at 17:18
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Not only does it sound informal, but both Thanks! and Thanks a lot! are frequently used ironically - frequently enough that they should be avoided anytime there's even a slight chance of ambiguity. I would never use "thanks a lot" to my boss or supervisor unless we also happened to be friends.

It would be hard to go wrong with Thank you, Thank you very much, or Many thanks.

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Thank you very much - superb –  Adel Jun 26 '11 at 3:04
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Yeah, it will probably sound a bit too casual, if you are addressing someone in a higher position.
Not unless the person who is in a higher position doesn't mind, or you and that person are in close standing. Otherwise, I would say:

Thank you very much!

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Depends what you mean by "higher": if it's somebody you'd still be on fairly informal terms with (e.g. first name terms, or non-honorific terms if your native language has such a thing), then "thanks a lot" is fine. If the context demands use of more formal language, or if you're in doubt, then you can't go too wrong with "thank you very much".

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