Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

What is gross income and why does it matter?

Gross income represents the total earnings generated by an individual or entity before any deductions or expenses are subtracted. It serves as a key metric in assessing financial performance and tax liabilities.

Individual Gross Income:

For individuals, gross income encompasses all sources of earnings, including wages, salaries, dividends, interest, rental income, and other forms of income. This total income forms the basis for calculating taxes, with adjustments made for deductions and exemptions to arrive at the adjusted gross income (AGI).

Business Gross Income:

Business gross income refers to the revenue generated by a company from all sources, excluding any deductions related to the cost of goods sold (COGS). It is a crucial indicator of a company's profitability and is often used to evaluate performance and financial health.

Difference from Net Income:

While gross income represents total earnings before deductions, net income reflects the amount remaining after deducting expenses and taxes. For individuals, net income is their take-home pay, while for businesses, it signifies the overall profit after accounting for all expenses.

Calculating Gross Income:

For individuals, gross income is calculated by summing up all sources of income before deductions such as taxes and retirement contributions. In contrast, for businesses, it involves subtracting the COGS from total revenue.


Gross income serves as a fundamental measure of financial performance and tax liability, providing insights into both individual and business earnings. It is essential for budgeting, financial planning, and assessing overall financial health.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.