Overtime tax question

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long story short, I get paid bi-weekly and work at a freestanding emergency room that has 3 locations. I normally work at just one but recently i picked up three 12 hour shifts at a different facility. though they share the same timecard, they issue seperate checks for each location. So my checks look something like this...

36 hour regular x 13.87 = 499.32

and at my usual location..

44 hours regular x 13.87 = 610.28
42 hours overtime x 20.81 = 874.02

incase you are wondering how i have 44 regular, its because like i said its a running timecard, just seperate checks.

so its like i worked 80 hours one week, and none the next. QUESTION is....is this beneficial to me? I should get more money back this way versus all of the hours being on the same check.

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It's not exactly clear what you're asking here. By "more money back", do you mean a larger tax refund? Any money that you get as a tax refund represents an overpayment of taxes throughout the year, and isn't free money. Furthermore, you can adjust your withholdings regardless of how the wages are earned, so no issue there.

If you're simply talking about getting more wages, then obviously having half of your wages at a higher rate due to overtime pay is much better than the same number of hours with no overtime.

Thanks for the quick reply GamingG. Sorry if i wasnt clear, this is all pretty confusing stuff for me. I am wondering if I am going to get more money back now, instead of having to wait until tax time. By having 2 seperate checks that are taxed seperately im thinking i will. Im only working overtime like this for a few pay periods so at the end of the year i should stay in the same tax bracket. Basically i could really use the money now rather than later. Hoping i get taxed less, but having 40 straight and 40 OT on a biweekly pay check is just kind of strange wasnt sure how it was gonna work tax wise. Confusing i know. Guess I will have to wait and see.

Not sure why you think the taxes on the OT would be different from the RT. Generally your employer uses the same tax rate and applies it against all gross earnings, unless you've told them to withhold extra.

Why aren't you just calling or visiting your HR dept and asking them rather than posting on a random site on the Internet? They can explain things better to you.

dustinryan said:   Thanks for the quick reply GamingG. Sorry if i wasnt clear, this is all pretty confusing stuff for me. I am wondering if I am going to get more money back now, instead of having to wait until tax time. By having 2 seperate checks that are taxed seperately im thinking i will. Im only working overtime like this for a few pay periods so at the end of the year i should stay in the same tax bracket. Basically i could really use the money now rather than later. Hoping i get taxed less, but having 40 straight and 40 OT on a biweekly pay check is just kind of strange wasnt sure how it was gonna work tax wise. Confusing i know. Guess I will have to wait and see.

I'm confused... Are they paying you 80 hours on a check for 1 week when you are actually working that 80 hours over 2 weeks?

If so are you getting paid extra aka $12 as opposed to $8 per hour for the overtime? I don't know if your company/area gets paid extra per hour for overtime.

If that is the case then you are making quite a bit extra because you are getting paid extra per hour for hours that really should not be overtime and at some point the company will likely notice and YMMV if they try to get their money back.

My assumption is you are not being paid any extra per hour for the overtime. I believe it is this issue that others are focusing on and trying to get the answer too.

Your withholding is based on the information you put on your W4.

Wow this has become confusing. Sorry if I am making this difficult. In 2 weeks I have worked 122 hours ok.....of those 122...36 of them will be on a different check because its a different facility. Same business but different location. This place is half owned by my boss. So I am working for him still but the money comes from another account which is why it's a different check. Following me now? So if I was to have all 122 on the same check I would have a lot more taken out I'm assuming. I was asking if I'm kinda getting a good deal by having it split this way. Instead of 80 regular and 42 OT...it's 44 reg and 42 OT...plus a separate 36 which equals 122. I should see up to 100 more dollars in the short term...which I desperately need.

It's kind of a unique situation that I'm sure alot of people don't find themselves in...so I'm sorry for the head scratching.

dustinryan said:   Wow this has become confusing. Sorry if I am making this difficult. In 2 weeks I have worked 122 hours ok.....of those 122...36 of them will be on a different check because its a different facility. Same business but different location. This place is half owned by my boss. So I am working for him still but the money comes from another account which is why it's a different check. Following me now? So if I was to have all 122 on the same check I would have a lot more taken out I'm assuming. I was asking if I'm kinda getting a good deal by having it split this way. Instead of 80 regular and 42 OT...it's 44 reg and 42 OT...plus a separate 36 which equals 122. I should see up to 100 more dollars in the short term...which I desperately need.

This assumption that you're likely having less taxes withheld by being split over two checks is probably correct. in my experience, payroll systems withhold based on your earnings for that period. So, if you suddenly make a lot more in a single period, taxes are withheld as if you're making that much all year long. Of course, this over payment just gets returned to you later, or you could proactively have HR reduce withholding when you know it's going to happen.

All that said, I don't understand why this matter at all to you. The checks are split, that's the way it works. Do you have the option of changing it? If you want more cash now, why don't you just temporarily drop your withholding down some?

I'm just happy I'm able to work 122 hours and reap more of rewards of my spent time. I'm in a little hole right now and it will help me get out of it quicker. At first I was worried that having 40 hours of OT wouldn't be worth it then I realized this unique situation. I could keep working this way for a few more weeks and I should be in a better situation financially. I need the money now. Not this winter. Even though large tax returns are nice.

I thought this thread was going in a different direction.

I initially thought she was asking if the "same company" was ripping her off by issuing two checks.

36 hour regular x 13.87 = 499.32

and at my usual location..

44 hours regular x 13.87 = 610.28
42 hours overtime x 20.81 = 874.02

She should be asking if it is the same company why isn't the 36 hours treated as overtime. My guess is that these are two separate and distinct companies. Thus you have no choice but to accept two checks. If you feel the federal and/or state income taxes taken out of your checks are too low, then change your W4.

How many W2 you get?

I would be less concerned with the tax implications, and more concerned about the company trying to circumvent paying you time and a half.

Taxes are based on how much you make and what deductions you can take not whether time is regular or OT. You make more and a higher percentage is withheld in anticipation of your tax bill being higher due to higher marginal rates.

The question you should be asking is, is your employer violating your state's laws on overtime and cheating you out of a significant amount of pay.

Interesting, it looks like the 2 locations are on separate payrolls. Check the IRS W4 calculator, plug in the totals from your check, and see how you're doing.

I agree with the posters above though, if the employer is the same, then you should be getting 1.5x for any hours over 40/week.
122 hours / 2 weeks = 61 hours / week -> 21 hours OT / week -> 42 hours OT for 2 weeks. So your check is correct if you are working an equal amount of hours each week. But if you are working 86 hours one week and 36 hours the next, you should be getting 46 hours of OT.

Infinion said:    in my experience, payroll systems withhold based on your earnings for that period. So, if you suddenly make a lot more in a single period, taxes are withheld as if you're making that much all year long. Of course, this over payment just gets returned to you later, or you could proactively have HR reduce withholding when you know it's going to happen.

This has been my experience as well.

Op, If you're trying to maximize your paycheck now and minimize your tax return later, make sure you have figured out how many deductions to claim on your W4. When I was single with no dependents, I used to claim "2" and the total withheld throughout the year always ended up within a couple hundred of what the IRS said I owed them come tax time. There is a very detailed IRS calculator here that another poster mentioned that can help you figure out what to claim for your particular situation.

dustinryan said:   long story short, I get paid bi-weekly and work at a freestanding emergency room that has 3 locations. I normally work at just one but recently i picked up three 12 hour shifts at a different facility. though they share the same timecard, they issue seperate checks for each location. So my checks look something like this...

36 hour regular x 13.87 = 499.32

and at my usual location..

44 hours regular x 13.87 = 610.28
42 hours overtime x 20.81 = 874.02

incase you are wondering how i have 44 regular, its because like i said its a running timecard, just seperate checks.

so its like i worked 80 hours one week, and none the next. QUESTION is....is this beneficial to me? I should get more money back this way versus all of the hours being on the same check.


Regardless of what bank accounts they use, if this is indeed one and the same company (same EIN), then it appears that you're getting ripped off. Your hours shouldn't be separated. Everything you work for your employer over 40 hours per week should be at the overtime rate. You can't average your hours over 2 weeks. If you work 80 hours in one week, then 40 of those hours are OT. They aren't supposed to just give you the next week off and call it even.

General comment: it's not that simple. It may be in OP's case, but there are industries/positions that do not automatically go to overtime just because you work over 40 in a particular week.

For example, lots of us work "9/80" schedules where we work 9 hour days Monday-Thursday, work one 8 hour Friday and then have the other Friday off. This means each pay period we have a 36 hour week and a 44 hour week. The extra 4 hours in that one week are not considered overtime. Similarly, there are many police and fire jobs with weird rotations that do not count overtime in a simple "over 40 in a week" manner, and I assume many medical and entertainment jobs as well.



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