Payroll Deductions & Overpayments : 2022 Updates

June 07, 2022
180 Mins
Vicki M. Lambert
$349.00
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$399.00
$349.00
$399.00
$349.00
$349.00
$399.00
$399.00
$349.00
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1. Payroll Deductions in 2022: What Can and Cannot be Deducted from an Employee’s Wages

In payroll we calculate the gross wages of an employee by meticulously following strict regulations on what must be or must not be counted as hours worked and taxable income.  We pay the employee their net paycheck only by the payment method that is permitted.  But what about in between?  When it comes to deducting from the employee’s gross wages to achieve the net income are you also adhering strictly to the rules?

After calculating gross wages for an employee is accomplished, much more difficult decisions must be made.  What must an employer deduct from an employee’s wages? What can be deducted legally? What can never be deducted? These questions and more must be answered correctly before processing that paycheck. And if this is the employee’s final check…the rules may change! Handling deductions is a complex task that payroll must get right every time for every payroll check.  Failure to deduct the proper taxes could result in penalties on the employer from the IRS but making an illegal deduction for a fringe benefit or for collecting an overpayment can get the employer a visit from the federal Department of Labor auditor, the state department of labor auditor or both! Sometimes the federal government will allow the deduction but that certain state won’t.

Of course, everyone knows that payroll deducts for federal and state taxes. However, how much input does the employee have concerning these deductions? This will be answered in this webinar. Which taxes are mandatory, which are a courtesy and which ones the employee controls will be explained during this webinar.   If the IRS or the state wants payroll to collect for back taxes; how is that processed?  What does payroll do if a “payday loan” deduction is received as opposed to a creditor garnishment? Which ones must we honor and why. We will discuss this during this webinar.

Fringe benefits are a normal part of payroll for most employees. Deducting for voluntary fringe benefits such as health insurance or group term life can usually be an easy task.  But what about health insurance under a medical support order?  Does that change how it is processed by payroll? We will discuss processing voluntary and involuntary health insurance deductions. 

Many employers require their employees to wear uniforms for work. Can the cost of the uniforms and their upkeep be deducted from an employee’s wages? What about cash shortages or breakage?  Can I deduct the cost of shortage or breakage from the employee’s paycheck under the state or federal laws?

Some employers offer meals and lodging as part of the employee’s work contract.  What can be deducted from the employee’s paycheck for employer provided meals and lodging and can this be used as credit against the minimum wage paid? 

What if an employee is overpaid? Can the employer simply deduct the overpayment from future payments or does the employee have to agree to the deduction in writing? Does the federal law differ from the state law in this area and, if it does, which one does the employer have to follow?  

Many employers advance vacation for their employees to ensure that all employees are rested and working at peak efficiency. But what if the employee takes their vacation in advance and then leaves the company? Can an employer recoup advanced vacation hours from the employee’s final check under federal or state laws?

Many employers give loans, advances on wages to employees or allow employees to purchase items from the employer. We will discuss how these can be recouped or repaid if the employee stays or if the employee terminates.

In this webinar we will discuss what can and what cannot be deducted from an employee’s regular paycheck as well as their final one. Failure to follow the regulations pertaining to employee wage deductions can result in substantial penalties and interest. 

Webinar Highlights

  • Taxes—which are mandatory, which are a courtesy, and which ones the employee controls
  • Child support—the limits but not beyond
  • Tax levies—federal and state
  • Creditor garnishments—how many can you honor and how often
  • Voluntary wage assignments for “payday loans”—when are they required to be honored
  • Handling fringe benefits such as health insurance or group term life
  • Uniforms—when the employer pays for it and when the employee furnishes it
  • Meals—when they become part of the employee’s wages 
  • Lodging—when it is part of the employee’s wages and when is it a perk
  • Shortages—the employee came up short, so they must cover that right?
  • Breakage—you broke it, so you have to pay for it, legal or not?
  • Overpayments—the employee was overpaid so you can just take the money back, or can you?
  • Advanced vacation pay—the employee knows the vacation hours were advanced so we can take them back when the employee quits can’t we?
  • Loans to employees: what terms can be set while the employee is still active and what can be taken when the employee terminates
  • Employee purchases—active employees and terminated employees
  • Anti-wage theft laws and the states

Who Should Attend

  • Payroll Executives/Managers/Administrators/Professionals/Practitioners/Entry Level Personnel
  • Human Resources Executives/Managers/Administrators
  • Accounting Personnel
  • Business Owners/Executive Officers/Operations and Departmental Managers
  • Lawmakers
  • Attorneys/Legal Professionals
  • Any individual or entity that must deal with the complexities and requirements of paying employees

 

2. Payroll Overpayments: Handling them Correctly in 2022

Employees can be overpaid in even the most well-managed payroll department. Yes, it does happen when mistakes are made but it isn’t always the result of an error. Perhaps the employee received a sign-on bonus but did not stay for the required length of time. Or the employee was on advanced vacation but is now terminating before he or she has fully earned the time. No matter the reason, overpayments can and do happen and must be handled properly. The first questions that usually arise relate to IRS regulations. What is required if the overpayment occurred this year?  But what if it occurred in a previous tax year, does that change the rules? Are the rules different for federal income tax than they are for social security or Medicare taxes? 

Recouping overpayments is also much more complex than just adhering to IRS code! Wage and hour law compliance must also be honored when dealing with overpayments. Before the payroll department even needs to determine IRS requirements they must first determine if recouping the overpayment is even legal under the FLSA. Issues such as exempt employee status, minimum wage, and overtime rules for non-exempt employees must be considered when recovering overpayments from employees.  

And of course, the overpayment did not occur in a vacuum when it comes to state laws. Each individual state may have its own compliance issues involving wage and hour laws!  Is there a time limit for recouping the overpayment in that state? Does the employee have to be notified in advance before the deductions can begin? Or does the state just say NO! to the whole process?    

In this webinar, we will discuss these regulations and more including the private letter ruling that governs the IRS requirements. We will examine the FLSA requirements on recouping overpayments including the 1998 opinion letter that spells out these requirements. We will also discuss how to conduct research to determine the state’s requirements for handling overpayments. We will review the wage and hour laws of several states and the factors that they use to determine if an overpayment can be recouped.

Webinar Highlights

Handling Overpayments under IRS and State Tax Codes:

  • Why a 1990 IRS Private Letter Ruling on handling overpayments applies today 
  • Correcting overpayments in the same calendar tax year
  • Why asking for the gross is better than the net check for prior year overpayments?
  • Correcting FICA taxes for a prior year overpayment
  • Correcting FUTA/SUI taxes
  • Using Form W-2 or Form W-2c to report overpayments

Wage and Hour Laws and Their Impact on Recouping Overpayments:

  • The standards under the FLSA in terms of timeframe for recouping prior year overpayments
  • Is a written agreement for repayment always required under the FLSA?
  • Collecting overpayments from exempt employees and its effect on salary basis compliance
  • Recouping overpayments and its effect on minimum wage and overtime requirements
  • Can employers treat advanced vacation payments as overpayments if an employee terminates
  • Where do the states stand on recouping overpayments?

Who Should Attend

  • Payroll Executives/Managers/Administrators/Professionals/Practitioners/Entry Level Personnel
  • Human Resources Executives/Managers/Administrators
  • Accounting Personnel
  • Business Owners/Executive Officers/Operations and Departmental Managers
  • Lawmakers
  • Attorneys/Legal Professionals
  • Any individual or entity that must deal with the complexities and requirements of Payroll compliance issues
Vicki M. Lambert

Vicki M. Lambert

Vicki M. Lambert, CPP, is President and Academic Director of The Payroll Advisor™, a firm specializing in payroll education and training. The company (www.thepayrolladvisor.com) offers a payroll news service which keeps payroll professionals up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations. With nearly 40 years of hands-on experience in all facets of payroll functions as well as over three decades as a trainer and author, Ms. Lambert has become the most sought-after and respected voice in the practice and management of payroll issues. She has conducted open market training seminars on payroll issues across the United States that have been attended by executives and professionals from...

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