Employment terminations will be discussed as an area of particular susceptibility to wage overpayments and how problems related to terminations can be minimized.
When errors do occur, it is important that employers follow appropriate procedures for making corrections and recovering overpaid amounts.
Recovery of an overpayment in the year the overpayment occurred will be distinguished from recovery in a subsequent calendar year. This includes recovery and repayment of overpaid taxes and the special problems with fringe benefits based on wages and corrections or amendments to payroll and wage reports such as Forms 941 and W-2.
Objectives of the Presentation
Why Should you Attend
- Know the common causes of wage overpayments
- Understand how company policies and controls can minimize wage overpayments or mitigate the effects of wage overpayments
- Know the federal and state rules with regard to recovery of overpayments and the consequences of non-compliant recovery methods
- Understand the procedures for reporting recovery of wage overpayments during the year of overpayment, a subsequent year, and for partial repayments
- Know how to compute and report tax adjustments for repayments
Wage overpayments can be a source of significant cost in terms staff time spent in analysis and correction. Compliance issues and errors made during the correction process can add to the costs.
Accuracy is an essential element in the payroll deductions process, but error-free payrolls are rare. A survey by Cyber Shift and the American Payroll Association found that 20 percent of employers reported error rates of 1 to 5 percent of payments during typical payroll processing.
In the case of overpayments, employers must abide by federal wage and hour law, and cannot simply deduct money from an employee’s paycheck. In some cases, this could result in violation of minimum wage or overtime rules or the requirement to pay full salary to exempt employees. In a number of states, employers may not recover wage overpayments through payroll deduction without the consent of the employee.
Where an employee is not receptive to repayment, particularly in termination cases, the employer may have to resort to legal action or forego recovery.
Recovery of an overpayment may also create wages and tax reporting and recordkeeping issues related to taxes and fringe benefits. Use of improper or illegal recovery methods may lead to imposition of fines, penalties, or other sanctions on an employer.
Who will Benefit
- When overpayments may be recovered using payroll deduction and when payroll deduction may be limited by state or federal wage and hour laws or when employee consent is required
- Alternative recovery methods when payroll deduction is not allowed or not possible. For example, in the case of a former employee
- Special procedures that apply to subsequent year recovery. This includes a discussion of same calendar year recovery, why repayment of net pay rather than repayment of gross pay can cause problems, and why subsequent year recovery does not affect wages for the year of recovery
- Tax computations when there is a partial recovery
- Wages and tax reporting for the year of the overpayment and the year of recovery
- Best practices wage overpayments compliance training for avoiding, detecting, and controlling
- The common causes of overpayments such as late termination paperwork, leave of absence errors and failure to terminate automatic payments
- How establishment and communication of employer policies and internal controls can prevent overpayments and minimize costs
- Payroll Supervisors and Personnel
- Payroll Consultants
- Payroll Service Providers
- Public Accountants
- Internal Auditors
- Tax Compliance Officers
- Enrolled Agents
- Employee Benefits Administrators
- Officers and Managers with Payroll or Tax Compliance Oversight
- Company/ Business Owners
- Managers/ Supervisors
- Public Agency Managers
- Audit and Compliance Personnel/ Risk Managers