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What Is Gross Income? How It Works And Why Its Important

To save yourself from headaches and spend less time doing payroll calculations, use a handy tool like Homebase. You can automate the whole payroll process, including calculating wages and taxes — and sending the correct payments to employees, the state, and the IRS. Start by multiplying the employee’s hourly wage by the number of hours worked in the week. Then calculate any additional pay earned and add it to the hourly wage. Gross wages are calculated differently for employees paid a salary versus those paid an hourly wage.

  • That’s why the FUTA taxes are $8.88 for Belle’s pay ($1480 x 0.006 adjusted FUTA rate).
  • Onboard employees, track their time, and pay them — all in one place.
  • Gross wages are displayed on the pay stub that accompanies an employee’s paycheck and on the employee’s W-2 tax form.
  • It’s important to report all of your earned income when you file your income taxes, even side income not reported on Form 1099s.
  • This means you must pay them at least time-and-a-half for all hours over 40 they worked during a workweek.

At the end of every quarter, get in the habit of running payroll analytics for your company. Focus on gross wages and your business’s labor burden to determine whether you’re within budget or can afford to bring on a new employee. Keep in mind that if you use payroll software, the software does the gross pay calculations for you for both hourly and salaried employees. Again, gross wages are what an employee earns before tax withholdings and deductions.


We’ll explain exactly what gross wages are, how to calculate them, and why understanding gross wages is critical to managing your small business. In this scenario, the employee’s gross pay would be $445 for the week. For a salaried employee with an annual salary of $50,000 who gets paid biweekly, divide $50,000 by 24 (the number of pay periods in a year) to get $2,083.33—the gross pay for each pay period. It’s larger than your net income, which is your income after taxes and other deductions have been withheld.

  • Gross pay is the total amount of money an employee receives before any taxes or deductions—such as retirement account contributions—are taken out of their paycheck.
  • Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) deductions are also required and are used to contribute to Social Security and Medicare.
  • Most other retirement plan contributions you may make, such as those to a Roth IRA, are counted as part of your gross income and are reflected in the amount printed in Box 1 on your W-2 form.

Other optional insurance plans, such as life insurance or short-term disability plans, would also result in deductions from gross wages. Gross wages are the total financial compensation earned by an employee prior to any deductions. Net wages refer to the employee’s actual take-home pay or the amount paid to the employee in their paycheck after deductions have been processed. For both salaried and hourly workers, gross wages include tips and commissions. For hourly employees, that pay rate might be negotiated by a union contract; for salaried employees, it might be in an employment contract or pay letter. In each case, the gross pay rate should be agreed to and signed before the employee begins working.

What Can Be Deducted From Gross Wages?

Some taxes, like FICA, are calculated as a percentage of gross wages. You must calculate your employees’ gross wages every pay period, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or twice monthly. Calculating the gross wage for salaried workers is a little different because you start with their annual salary. If you want to determine the gross wages per month, you will simply divide the employee’s annual salary by 12. For example, if the employee makes $55,000 per year and you want to calculate a monthly gross wage, you would divide the total salary by 12.


When it comes to running payroll, there are a lot of terms you need to be familiar with. One that you need to know like the back of your hand is gross wages. We’ve got the answers to these questions and more (just keep reading!).

Frequently asked questions about gross wage

By subtracting Apple’s net sales by the total cost of goods sold, Apple reported a gross income of $42.559 billion. An individual’s gross income is used by lenders or landlords to determine whether that person is a worthy borrower or renter. When filing federal and state income taxes, gross income is the starting point before subtracting deductions to determine the amount of tax owed. There are different components to gross income in respects to an individual and a company. An individual will easily be able to determine their gross income by consulting a recent pay stub or calculating their hours worked and wage.

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Gross pay is the amount an employee earns before all deductions, including taxes, benefits, wage attachments and any other payroll deductions. To find your personal monthly gross income, calculate the amount of money you earn each month. This will likely be different than the amount of money you take home or receive as payment directly from your employer. Imagine that same individual pays $1,500 per month in rent, $450 in student loans, and $300 towards an auto loan.

For both salaried and hourly employees, the calculation is based on an agreed-upon amount of pay. The pay rate should be in writing and signed by both the employee and employer. Employers are responsible for an employee’s gross pay plus a portion of their FICA taxes, as well as any employer-paid benefits. The amount of the paycheck or deposit the employee receives after deductions is their net pay.

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