How to Tell If a Check Is a Payroll Check

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Cash or deposit your payroll check with confidence by understanding some of the differences between a payroll check and a personal check. Payroll checks have distinguishing features, such as the information printed on the check stub as well as the information that appears on the face of the check. Any questions you have about your payroll check usually can be resolved by a banking representative.

Step 1

Observe the overall appearance of the check as well as the payer's name. Many payroll checks are drawn on a company account, instead of an individual's personal checking account.

Step 2

Look for a company logo in the left or right hand corner, with the company address and possibly the check number. While banks sometimes place their logos on personal checks as well, they often do not place their addresses on checks, and rarely in the upper left-hand corner, as this is reserved for the address of the check's signer.

Step 3

Feel the edges of the check for perforation. Payroll checks often have one perforated edge from which to separate the check stub from the part of the check that will be deposited into your bank account or cashed.

Step 4

Find the watermark on the check to help determine if it is an authentic payroll check. Payroll checks issued by large corporations will have a watermark on the rear of the check that includes a security device that can help determine the authenticity of a payroll check. These security watermarks often are not found on personal checks.

Step 5

Examine the check stub. The check stub for a payroll check should itemize the amount deducted from the check for federal, state and local income taxes. In addition, deductions for an employee's contribution to health care insurance, retirement savings or other authorized deductions will appear on the check stub.

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