English Teacher Article I am overpaid

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Poll- How would you interpret 'You are overpaid £...'?

I received a letter from the taxman informing me that 'I was overpaid' by a certain amount. On the back there was an itemised statement ending with the amount due. My initial interpretation was that I had been overpaid and owed them something.

Fortunately, I found, on closer inspection, that they meant that I had overpaid them and that the amount due was negative.

Categories: General

2 Comments

"You are overpaid", doesn't seem to me to be using English correctly. If someone said that/wrote that to me, my interpretation would be that my salary was too high. In your case where you'd paid the taxman too much (!!!!), a clearer statement would be "We have creditted your account with...", or : You made an error in your calculations. Your balance is :0.00".
However it's phrased, I bet that made your day!

"You are overpaid" is nebulous. You did the paying, so yours was the act. "You are overpaid" suggests a passive act and a passive state. It's also nonsense until, with trepidation, you read on. "You overpaid," might make better sense, but is not in the bureaucratic lexicon. Usually after wading through the usual unnecessary pages, here we get : "No balance due".
Phew!

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