Setting aside the fact that most rational people would never try this, I am genuinely curious what would happen if somebody did it.
Say I am a full-time, salaried employee in the US. I'm paid twice a month, have federal and state taxes withheld, and every year I get a W2. For whatever reason, I am paid with a paper check instead of direct deposit. One payday I go a little batty and intentionally feed my paycheck through a shredder without depositing it. I don't tell anybody or ask my employer to replace it. I didn't want the money, I intentionally rejected it, and now the check is gone. Now what?
How/when does my employer find out? Do they get a report from their bank stating that "check 1234 for $1212.12 paid to John Doe was never deposited" or does it manifest itself as an eventual accounting discrepancy that somebody has to work to hunt down?
Can my employer punish me for refusing the money in this way? Do they have any means to force me to take what I am "owed?"
When tax time comes, and I still have not accepted the money, would it be appropriate to adjust my reported income down by the refused amount?