Gross Income vs Net Income What are the Top 6 Differences?


Net income is an all-inclusive metric for profitability and provides insight into how well the management team runs all aspects of the business. Net income indicates a company’s profit after all of its expenses have been deducted from revenues. Dock David Treece is a contributor who has written extensively about business finance, including SBA loans and alternative lending.

  • As an employee, your gross income is the wage or salary that you earn before taxes and deductions are taken out of your paycheck.
  • Taking the time to understand how to calculate them and the different ways they affect you can help you be better prepared at tax time—and lead to better decisions about your money management.
  • You can receive a refund for the difference or credit the amount to the following year’s tax bill.
  • The views expressed on this blog are those of the bloggers, and not necessarily those of Intuit.
  • If you are self-employed, you usually must pay self-employment tax if you had net earnings of $400 or more.

Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information. Revenue refers to the total amount of money that a business generates from the sale of goods and services. It is also referred to as the top line since it is added to the top of the income statement.

How is Gross Income Calculated?

Gross income represents your wages from your employer before taxes, and other deductions have been taken out. However, net income as an employee is your take-home pay after taxes have been withheld, including taxes for Social Security and Medicare. You can calculate your AGI by subtracting any deductions that you may qualify for from your gross income. If you’re an employer, you may want to see if you qualify for additional tax deductions, so your net income is higher next year. As a business owner, you might find that another manufacturer is less expensive, thus providing you with a higher net income. For example, if your gross income is $71,000, but you have $21,000 in annual deductions, your net income is $50,000.


Whether an employee or own a business, gross income and net income are important concepts to grasp. Understanding the difference will help you file your taxes as a wage earner, or understand the health of your company as a business owner. This will depend on how you’re paid and whether you receive an annual salary or hourly pay. A salaried employee will be paid a fixed amount, usually divided over 12 months.

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Another option is to consider what benefits are deducted from your paycheck. Each year, your employer has an open enrollment period, where you can make changes to your insurance. You can also decrease or increase your retirement contributions based on how much money you have remaining after deducting necessary expenses from your net income. It makes sense to withhold the maximum amount you can contribute to tax-advantaged retirement accounts, as this both lowers your taxes and helps you build a nest egg for your retirement. Understanding net versus gross income is important for your budget, taxes, loan applications, and more. Taking the time to understand how to calculate them and the different ways they affect you can help you be better prepared at tax time—and lead to better decisions about your money management.

  • Finally, understanding the difference between your net income and gross income can help you make informed financial decisions.
  • However, this does not mean that you should forget about net revenue or income, as they give you the best information for making decisions related to cost and worth.
  • This means that for every dollar of sales the store achieved, it netted 36 cents in profit for the period.
  • The self-employment tax is 15.3%, which is a combination of 12.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare taxes and is calculated using 92.35% of your net income.
  • That’s the amount of profit the store earned over that quarter – the amount of money it made over that period, minus all its expenses.

The term income, whether gross or net, refers to a company’s total profit or earnings. Whenever analysts and investors talk about a company’s income, they are referring to the company’s net income or profit. In some cases, the terms income and revenue are synonymous; however, net income represents a person’s total earnings after subtracting any other incomes and expenses. After the gross income and deduction totals have been established, subtracting the total deductions from the gross income amount shows the employee’s net income. Helping employees know where to find these three figures on their pay stubs helps them double-check their total pay.

What is net income? Definition and how to calculate it

The amount remaining after all withholdings are accounted for is net payor take-home pay. Employers who familiarize themselves with these two terms are often better equipped to negotiate salaries with workers and run payroll effectively. If you create a budget, you will use your net income figure to determine how much money you have to pay for your expenses. Because lenders use it to determine your credit worthiness, gross income can be important for getting credit and when applying for a mortgage or a car loan. A company’s net income is its profit after deducting expenses and other allowances. Many employers offer retirement plans where you can contribute by having deductions made from each paycheck.

Why is net income lower than gross income?

Net income usually is lower because it reflects all of the expenses that a business’s revenue must cover. These expenses include the cost of goods sold (COGS), overhead expenses (SG&A), interest paid on debt, and taxes.

Browse our blog posts, white papers, tools and guides on topics related to growing a small business and being successful. As the healthcare industry expands, they are shifting to implement contingent workforce programs that expand their reach and provide sustainable growth. We support these efforts through workforce management programs that provide the seamless integration of skilled independents into their ecosystem. Economic profit is the difference between the revenue received from the sale of an output and the costs of all inputs, including opportunity costs. In many cases, the primary difference of gross profit and net income is the different user bases and their intentions with the information. For example, companies often invest their cash in short-term investments, which is considered a form of income.

“Startups are understood to be unprofitable by most accounting standards because they’re reinvesting any profits back into their business,” says Asher Rogovy, chief investment officer at Magnifina. “Both of these numbers can help investors determine how risky a business investment can be,” Diels continues. Gross income and ne income have some important differences but can sometimes be confusing to understand. As an investor, these metrics can provide insights into a company’s profitability as well as your own earnings.

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