What is Gross Income? How to Calculate Gross Income

What is Gross Income?

Gross income is the total of all wages, salaries, interest payments, profits, rents, and a variety of different forms of earnings, before any deductions or taxes of the regular households and individuals.

It is not the same as net income which is generally defined as the gross income minus taxes and other deductions.

For a company or an organization, gross income, which is also referred to as gross profit, sales profit, or credit sales, is the difference between the revenue generated and the cost of developing a product or providing a specific type of service, before any deduction in overheads, payroll, taxation, and interest payments is made. This is not as same as operating profit. 

Gross margin is generally used interchangeably with Gross Profit, but the terms and conditions are different. When speaking about a monetary sum, it is technically appropriate to use the word Gross Profit.

When speaking about any percentage or ratio, it is correct to refer to Gross Margin. In other words, Gross Margin is referred to as percentage value, while Gross Profit is known as monetary value.

Impact of Gross Income in the USA

In the United States, gross income is the total income from all sources. This includes money, but also other types of payments. The Internal Revenue Code of the United States says that this is the starting point for calculating federal and state income taxes for individuals, companies, estates, and trusts. However, there may be other laws that affect this calculation.

The general rule is that the amount of income you receive is what matters for tax purposes. The tax rules say which types of income are exempt from taxes. There may be times when the amount of income shown on your financial statement is different from the amount of income that is taxable.

Example of Gross Income

It might be difficult to think about what gross income looks like in a real-world simulation, but these examples can make it easier to understand.

Example of gross income for a company/organization:

If an automobile manufacturer makes $2 million from exporting its cars over the course of a year but spends $1 million on vehicle parts to develop the cars, the company’s gross income is $1 million.

The company earned a total of $2 million from the export of its cars, but it cost them $1 million to manufacture them. This direct cost is pulled out of that $2 million amount, which leaves the company with its gross income of $1 million.

Example of gross income for an individual:

If an individual makes $100,000 at one job and a combined $75,000 from working a second job and selling some products that had been collecting dust in their garage, their gross income for the year would be $175,000. 

You calculate that $175,000 number by adding up all the sources of income that the individual earns over the course of the year, so in this case that comes in the form of the $100,000 from their salary that his job paid him for the work he did and the extra $75,000 that comes from the wages of his second job and the profit he made from selling his belongings.

How To Calculate Gross Income

The equation for calculating a company’s gross income or gross profit is: 

gross income = Sales revenue – costs of goods sold.

Sales revenue is nothing but the total amount of money a company produces from selling its goods or services in its main business with no other factors or deductions being considered.

The price of goods sold is any costs that are related to the manufacturing of the products that companies sell. These can be any costs subjected to raw materials used in the production of the goods, supply costs, machinery that was bought, or labor expenses.

These are the direct costs involved in the goods or services that the companies provide to their consumers.


Being able to understand what each box means on your invoice statement that you receive from your company can make filling out your taxes a less stressful process allowing you to explore all the other factors.

Regarding what gross income means on this form, the total amount of money an individual or the company earns from wages and salaries will appear in Box 1 of your W-2 document.

If you suspect that the number seems a bit off after you did your calculations based on how many hours a day you worked and what your pay was, there is nothing to be alarmed.

Companies sometimes exclude pre-tax deductions before reporting this number. These deductions include any contributions to employer-sponsored retirement accounts, medical premiums, spending accounts, or sometimes parking among other measures.

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