my former employer states that they overpaid me

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my former employer states that they overpaid me

My former employer states that they overpaid me 8 months ago. They’ve now just informed me in a letter. I’m not a citizen and I don’t live in the U.S. anymore. How do they know and calculated the overtime money? Why do they require the tax too? Who will pay me back the tax if I pay that for my employer? What if I can’t pay the full amount of money pay back? I didn’t realized that they overpaid me.

Asked on July 26, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) How do they know: they should have your hourly time records (e.g. time cards or time sheets) and presumably re-examined them, seeing that you were paid more than you should have been.
2) It doesn't matter that you did not realize that you were overpaid. You are not being accused of wrongdoing, but even without wrongdoing, the law is very clear that someone else's (e.g. the employer's) error does NOT entitle you to keep more money than you actually earned. If you were overpaid, you must repay it.
3) You have to repay the whole amount because they paid out the whole amount, either to you or to the IRS and/or state tax agency in terms of withholding. They are entitled to all their money back.
4) When you return everything, you have any overpayment on your taxes, from the withholding they paid but which you returned; therefore, you will get a credit for this on your taxes (for having had more paid in taxes for you than should have been) and will get the money back (either by paying less in taxes at years end, if you still owed something; or getting a tax refund) when file your taxes.
 


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