Unjust enrichment and recovery

If you have paid income or a benefit on incorrect grounds, to the wrong person or excessively, do the following:

When you discover the error: correct the original report and indicate the unjustified enrichment.

Once the income has been recovered: submit a new recovery report.

It is important to report an unjust enrichment to ensure that the correct income will be used as the basis of benefits granted to the income earner.

Reporting an unjust enrichment

Report the unjust enrichment as soon as possible after the discovery of the error and no later than after one month after the discovery of the unjust enrichment.

An unjust enrichment must be reported irrespective of whether the excess benefit will be recovered or whether it will not be recovered at all or recovered only in part.

If you discover an overpayment only after you have already reported the income to the Incomes Register:

Correct the original report with a replacement report.

Report the overpayment as an unjust enrichment by adding the “Unjustified enrichment” data to the income type of the overpayment.

If necessary, also correct the employee’s earnings-related pension and unemployment insurance contributions.

If the correction will affect the amount of the employer’s health insurance contribution paid, also correct the employer’s separate report.

If you notice an overpayment before submitting the report, report the overpayment as an unjust enrichment under the income type Unjust enrichment (359).

The following cannot be unjust enrichments:

  • Fringe benefits, such as company car or telephone benefit
  • Any non-monetary benefits
  • Fees and other deductions from earnings (400 series income types)
  • Tax-exempt reimbursements of expenses

Read more about how to correct fringe benefits.

If you discover an overpayment only after you have already reported the income to the Incomes Register:

Correct the original report with a replacement report.

Report the overpayment as an unjust enrichment by adding the “Unjustified enrichment” data to the income type of the overpayment.

If you have reported the benefit unit for the income type, change the number of units to zero in so far as the income is reported as an unjust enrichment.

If you notice an overpayment before submitting the report, report the overpayment as an unjust enrichment under the income type Unjust enrichment (1270).

There are three ways to report the recovery of an overpayment

Report the recovery once the income has been actually recovered from the income earner. You will need to report the date of recovery, the amount paid and the income earner who paid the amount. Submit the report no later than the on the 5th calendar day after the day on which you received the data.

Income cannot be reported as recovered until it has first been reported as an unjust enrichment. Recovered income cannot be reported to the Incomes Register as a negative amount.

Report the amount recovered with a new report. Enter the day on which the income earner paid the overpayment as the payment date. Use the same income type you used to report the income as an unjust enrichment.

There are three ways to report income recovery:

In gross recovery, the payer recovers the overpayment from the income earner according to the actual amount overpaid. The recovered amount also includes the share of withholding originally carried out from the income.

In net recovery, the payer recovers from the income earner the overpayment, from which they have first deducted the proportion of withholding carried out on the income on the original payment date.

In offsetting, the payer will deduct the previous overpayment from the next payment made.

    • The offsetting of earnings, i.e. treating the earnings as an advance payment, will distort the income of the income earner. The income earner may be wrongly awarded benefits, and the payer may have to ask for further information.
      • Therefore, always use gross or net recovery, if possible.
      • In general, offsetting is only allowed if the overpayment can be deducted in full from the next payment. In offsetting, the unjust enrichment or recovery are not reported.
    • Read more about offsetting from Benefits: Recovery and recourse.

Report the following on the recovery:

    • Income type
    • Recovery – Yes
    • Recovered amount
    • Recovery date (the date on which the income earner returned the overpayment to the payer)
    • The following considering the recovered amount:
      • Amount withheld (if net recovery was used)
      • Tax at source (if net recovery was used)
    • Original pay period

Additionally, the following data on the recovered income can be provided as complementary additional data:

    • Earnings period of the recovered income
    • Original payment date

You can only report the recovery of monetary payments. Fringe benefits or charges collected from income (income types of the 400 series) cannot be reported as recovered.

Correct the employee’s earnings-related pension and unemployment insurance contributions unless you already corrected them when you reported the unjust enrichment. Employee contributions can only be corrected in connection with recovery if the overpayment will be recovered during the same calendar year.

Report the following on the recovery:

    • Income type
    • Recovery – Yes
    • Recovered amount
    • Recovery date (the date on which the income earner returned the overpayment to the payer)
    • The following regarding the repayment:
      • Amount withheld (if net recovery was used)
      • Tax at source (if net recovery was used)
    • Original earnings period

An unprompted repayment is not considered the repayment of an unjust enrichment. For information on unprompted repayments, see Benefits: reporting data to the Incomes Register.

Detailed instructions and examples

Earnings payment data – see examples on reporting and read more about how to make corrections:

Section 3, Reporting and retroactively correcting a payment made on incorrect grounds

Section 4, Recovery of a payment

Section 8, Key rules regarding corrections and the reporting of overpayments

Benefits payment data – see examples on reporting and read more about how to make corrections:

Section 6, Reporting unjust enrichment and recovery

Page last updated 5/17/2022