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Salary Overpayments

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Background

Campus departments and divisions are responsible for entering employment actions and time records into the Human Resources System. It is critical that this responsibility is handled correctly and timely. Otherwise, overpayments to employees may result, which can pose a significant financial liability for the University.

Payroll Schedules & Reminders Each June, Payroll distributes Monthly and Biweekly payroll schedules for the upcoming fiscal year, including deadlines for entering personnel actions and positive pay items. The schedules are readily available on Payroll's website. The Payroll department also broadcasts e-mail messages via its HR Connections listserv to remind users of upcoming deadlines.

Payroll Coordinators/Personnel Representatives Any individual who supervises employees must communicate information about hires, terminations, leaves of absence, pay rate changes, etc., to their unit's Payroll Coordinator in a timely fashion, in advance of the scheduled deadlines. The Payroll Coordinator/Personnel Representative is then responsible for ensuring that the information is entered into the HR System and that the actions are approved prior to the "lock out" date for that payroll.

HR Customer Service Representatives To support hiring departments, each department is assigned to a designated HR Information Management Customer Service Representative (CSR). The CSRs offer advice and training to departments about data entry of job actions and positive time. The Manager of Graduate Appointments takes care of these issues for all Graduate Student job actions.

Exceptions to Avoid Overpayment It is in both the department's and Payroll's interests to avoid overpayments, so if at all possible Payroll will always try to accommodate late requests to make data adjustments, or make manual adjustments, after published deadlines, if the department proactively requests assistance from their assigned CSR.

If Overpayment Occurs

If an overpayment does occur, then the employing department should contact Payroll immediately. On notification, Payroll will

  • Gather the supporting documents (job data, paycheck data, etc.) and calculate the overpayment on a gross-to-net basis. The employee is only required to repay the net amount if repayment can be accomplished within the same calendar (tax) year. By federal regulation, if repayment crosses the calendar (tax) year, the full gross amount must be repaid.
  • Send written notification to the employee, with a copy to the employing department, detailing the overpayment and the University's expectation for collection. This includes notification of North Carolina General Statute 147-86.23 which outlines the University's right to add interest & penalties to delinquent accounts and North Carolina General Statute 105A-3(b), which requires the University to notify the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) of the debt, and for the NCDOR to to deduct the debt for any funds due to the employee form their State income tax return. Neither of these actions will be taken if payment is received or if a payment plan has been agreed to by both parties within 30 days of the date on the notification.

Most of the time, individuals make repayment arrangements within 30 days of being notified; however,

  • If Payroll has not received a response after 30 days, a second communication is sent, which includes interest and penalties, along with a notice that the debt will be reported to the State of North Carolina Attorney General's (AG's) office if payment has not been received or a payment plan has not been agreed to within 30 days of the date of this second notice. NCDOR is notified of the debt as outlined above.
  • If no response is received after 60 days, then Payroll notifies the State of North Carolina Attorney General's (AG) Office of the debt. The AG's office then sends a communcation to the employee regarding the debt.
  • If no response is received to the AG's letter within 45 days, then NC State may request that the AG's office either file suit or turn the debt over to a state-approved collection agency.

Once full repayment is received (this could take several months), the funds are returned to the department and updates are made to the employee's gross pay, taxes, deductions, and benefit records. If needed, an amended W-2 is issued.

Each quarter, Payroll produces a Quarterly Overpayment Report that details overpayment activity by department, including new overpayments incurred, overpayments paid in full during that quarter and all outstanding overpayments as of the end of the quarter. This report is available via Reports2Web. A Quarterly Overpayment Collection Fee Billing is also produced and sent to each department via campus mail. This billing charges the department a 25% collection fee on any overpayment considered avoidable by Payroll.

If your department has an overpayment or if you have a question regarding these procedures, contact the University Payroll Special Resources Coordinator.

 

Last Edited: June 19th, 2013