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Is it ok to have Employee's Home Address = PO box?

Is it ok to use PO box address as a physical address for payroll purpose? I know for mailing address, we can use any address, but how about for payroll tax purpose?


  • There is no specific payroll rule that says you cannot. My one concern is audit. It I was a supervisor who was getting several different peoples' pay checks (fraud), it is common to not want to use the supervisor's home address for other people's checks. PO boxes make auditors a little nervous. Also, I think HR sometimes has a reason for wanting a valid home address on file. Flip side, not all home addresses are subject to mail delivery and a PO address is pretty much required. This is pretty much a rural issue. Or possibly a homeless issue. I read some where that something like 1% of Walmart workers are homeless. Maybe living in their cars.

  • I think DW has talked about this in the past, more along the lines of making sure to have a valid "residency" location verification of some sort.

    I personally don't care whether a post office box or mail drop is used for mailing, but I want to make sure I have something, maybe even once a year, where the employee verifies their resident state (and locality if needed). Saves the "you withheld X state tax, when I wanted WA (no state income tax) used".

    There is an ENTIRE industry on setting up residency in specific locations. Usually used by RV folks who live in their RV full time. TX is one state (Livingston especially), as the vehicle and voter issues are easy and cheap. FL is another, because health care options are good. SD is another. All perfectly legal, but all cause complications for employers.

    So I view mailing/residency as yet another issue I have to monitor, but not one I can control 100% (remove my risk of cost spent fixing issues). No different than direct depositing into any bank account (or accounts) which the employee is not the single and sole owner or paper check holder in due course issues.

  • Just a thought but if the employer is in CA, and the employee claims to live in FL, first of all CA does not care, she/he/it is still fully subject to CA taxes, and secondly if the employee is going to play games with something this trivial, (IMO) fire them now, and avoid future problems.

    Just a thought (re-dux), but US Mail all checks and paystubs, no exceptions. That will fix the fake address problem, and make your auditors happy. Any time you "hand" checks out, you increase the chances of fraud.

  • Hey, I resemble that - live in a motor home full time, have a private mail box (in a UPS store). If I am gone for two months, I can let the mail accumulate or have it forwarded to me- easier and less expensive than a PO box. Also receive packages, Fed Ex, DHL, UPS, at that address and local clients can drop stuff off. Since I am in tax practice, there are security concerns with stuff going into a rural mail box where I usually park the motor home. In NC the private box number cannot be used for driver;s Lic, voter registration or vehicle registration for garaging (personal property tax) and the vehicle insurance folks want to know where it is "garaged". That is, the county will not accept a non-residential address as a residence.

  • PH, part time for me. I am getting by with USPS holding mail and their daily email images. (I do not get much mail, and little, if any, is work related.) When I am ready to rid the stick house, I will look at Escapees or one of the other clubs to help setup "residence" in whatever state works best for me at that time (probably health insurance as priority).

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