What to do if my husband is a commission employee and his company overpaid him?

My husbands employer mistakenly overpaid him this summer. They expect him to pay it all back in equal installments $500 over 14 weeks starting immediately. The $6700 overpayment even puts us into a different tax bracket, which has it’s own separate issues. He did not recieve all of that money, some went to taxes, 401 k, insurance. etc. but they want him to pay the full amount back. Also, he is paid on a commission basis, if he doesn’t sell anything, his check won’t even be $500. That doesn’t leave us anything to live on, no food, gas or bill money.

Asked on December 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) If your husband was overpaid--that is, he received money to which he is not entitled--then he has to repay it. If he and the employer can't work out a payment plan which they both can agree to, the employer may sue him for the money.

2) Any overpayment of taxes is something you should be able to get back by filing an amended return--speak to an accountant or tax preparer about this.

3) Generally speaking, the employer may get back any money overpaid to your husband, including money which went to taxes (see #2, above, for how to deal with that). Anything which then needs to be backed out of benefits (e.g. if overcontributions to a 401k need to be returned), you husband should then in turn be able to get back from the benefits administrator, insurer, etc. upon proof of the overpayment. It  may take time to resolve, but ultimately, you should be left in the same place as if there was no overpayment.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) If your husband was overpaid--that is, he received money to which he is not entitled--then he has to repay it. If he and the employer can't work out a payment plan which they both can agree to, the employer may sue him for the money.

2) Any overpayment of taxes is something you should be able to get back by filing an amended return--speak to an accountant or tax preparer about this.

3) Generally speaking, the employer may get back any money overpaid to your husband, including money which went to taxes (see #2, above, for how to deal with that). Anything which then needs to be backed out of benefits (e.g. if overcontributions to a 401k need to be returned), you husband should then in turn be able to get back from the benefits administrator, insurer, etc. upon proof of the overpayment. It  may take time to resolve, but ultimately, you should be left in the same place as if there was no overpayment.


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