Gross Income

The total income earned by an individual on a paycheck before taxes and other deductions

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What is Gross Income?

Gross income refers to the total income earned by an individual on a paycheck before taxes and other deductions. It comprises all incomes received by an individual from all sources – including wages, rental income, interest income, and dividends. For example, if the revenue earned by an individual for rendering consultancy services amounts to $300,000, the figure represents the gross income earned by that individual.

Gross Income

For businesses, gross income can also be referred to as gross profit when preparing financial statements for companies, and it equals the revenues from the sale of goods or services less the cost of goods sold.

The revenue sources may comprise income from selling goods and services, intellectual properties, income from rental property, capital gains from investments, etc. The gross profit is a line item in the profit and loss statement.

How to Calculate Gross Income

The gross income of an individual is often a figure required by lenders when deciding whether or not to advance credit to an individual. The same applies to landlords when determining whether a potential tenant will be able to pay the rent on time. It is also the starting point when calculating taxes due to the government.

Gross Income for an Individual

The gross income for an individual is the amount of money earned before any deductions or taxes are taken out. An individual employed on a full-time basis has their annual salary or wages before tax as their gross income. However, a full-time employee may also have other sources of income that must be considered when calculating their income.

For example, any dividends on stocks held by an individual should be factored into the gross income. Other incomes that should be considered include income from rental property and interest income from investments and savings.


Assume that John earns an annual income of $100,000 from his financial management consultancy work. John also earns $70,000 in rental income from his real estate properties, $10,000 in dividends from shares he owns at Company XYZ, and $5,000 in interest income from his savings account. John’s income can be calculated as follows:

Gross Income = 100,000 + 70,000 + 10,000 + 5,000 = $185,000

Gross Income for a Business

Gross profit is an item in the income statement of a business, and it is the company’s gross margin for the year before deducting any indirect expenses, interest, and taxes. It represents the revenue that a company earned from selling its goods or services after subtracting the direct costs incurred in producing the goods being sold.

Direct costs can include expenses such as labor costs, equipment used in the production process, supply costs, cost of raw materials, and shipping costs. Taxes are not deducted since they are not directly related to the production and sale of the product.

The formula for calculating the gross income, or gross profit, of a business is as follows:

Gross Income = Gross Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold


Assume that the gross revenue of ABC, a paint manufacturing company, totaled $1,300,000, and the expenses were as follows:

  • Cost of raw materials: $150,000
  • Supply costs: $60,000
  • Cost of equipment: $340,000
  • Labor costs: $150,000
  • Packaging and shipping: $100,000

The gross profit is calculated as follows:

Gross Income = (1,300,000) – (150,000 + 60,000 + 340,000 + 150,000 + 100,000)

= (1,300,000) – (800,000) = $500,000

Gross Income vs. Net Income

Gross income is the sum of all incomes received from providing services to clients before deductions, taxes, and other expenses.

On the other hand, net income is the profit attributable to a business or individual after subtracting all expenses. For a company, net income is calculated by subtracting all the business expenses such as taxes due, advertising costs, and interest expenses, plus any eligible deductions like professional and legal fees.

If the net income is a positive value, it is a profit, but if it is negative, then it shows that the business incurred a loss.

If the difference between gross profit and net income is significantly high, it shows that the business incurs many expenses. In such a situation, the business should review its expenses to eliminate unnecessary expenses and reduce necessary expenses.

For an individual, net income is the income earned after deducting state and federal taxes, social security taxes, health insurance, etc.

More Resources

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Gross Income. To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

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