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Terms and Definitions

What are gross earnings?

Updated: May 21, 2024

Gross earnings definition and meaning

Gross earnings are wages an employee earns over a period of time before tax deductions or payroll adjustments. It is the total amount of income earned by an individual, household or company during a calendar period.

More about gross earnings

Gross earnings can also refer to the total of all earnings (regular and overtime), plus the total of all other compensation, including bonuses, commissions, or employer-paid fringe benefits. While many see these terms as interchangeable, the IRS does define gross earnings differently than gross pay, as well as adjusted gross income, which is what remains after certain above-the-line deductions are subtracted.

Using gross earnings in a sentence

“More and more small businesses are switching to a payroll service that lets their employees see their pay stubs online, including information like gross earnings, deductions, and time off balances.”

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