Difference Between Gross and Net

It is very common to hear of the gross and net terms, both when we talk about salaries, and when we analyze the income statement of a company or when they tell us a macroeconomic data.

The gross and the net measure the same magnitude, but they are different concepts and it is necessary to know how to distinguish them so that there is no confusion. Both concepts are quantitative expressions used to calculate economic magnitudes.

The difference between gross and net that we must be clear about is that a net amount is the final amount that remains after having made some change to the gross amount, in most cases after having made some type of discount (which are generally taxes). ):

Net = Gross – discount

Independently, we could define gross as the total amount resulting from some activity, such as gross salary, gross sales or gross domestic product . The net instead, is the final amount that remains as a result of having applied a discount to something gross, from the previous examples we would have the net salary, net sales and net domestic product.

We are going to see the most common cases where gross and net expressions are used.

Gross salary and net salary

To understand the structure of a payroll it is essential to know the difference between the concepts of gross salary and net salary. Especially when it comes to negotiating our salary and calculating how much money we are going to receive at the end of the month.

The net or liquid salary is the monetary amount that the worker receives, that is, the money that he receives in his account after taxes and Social Security contributions have been deducted. The gross salary, on the other hand, is the total amount before those withholdings are applied.

Net salary = Gross salary – Taxes – Social Security

In the income statement of a company

When we analyze the income statement of a company we also find the terms gross and net.

An example is gross profit and net profit . The Gross Profit is simply the result of subtracting the cost of those sales from the total sales, while the net profit, in addition to the costs of sales, is also subtracted from taxes, interest, depreciation and general expenses of the company. business. Therefore, the relationship between gross profit and net profit is as follows:

Net profit = Gross profit – taxes – interest – depreciation – general expenses

In the case of gross margin and net margin , exactly the same thing happens, since the gross margin is the gross profit divided by sales and the net margin is the net profit also divided by sales. The net margin will be equal to the gross margin less taxes, interest, depreciation and general expenses of the company. The margin is used to know the percentage of profit that we have of each product or service that we have sold.

Another example would be net sales, which is the result of subtracting returns, bonuses, rebates, and discounts from gross sales.

macroeconomic data

These expressions are also used in macroeconomics and, as in the previous cases, the net value is equal to the gross value minus a discount. For example, the difference between the net domestic product (NIP) and the gross domestic product (GDP) is that the NIP is equal to the GDP minus the costs of raw materials, services and depreciation.

PIN = GDP – consumption of fixed capital.


These terms are also used in the weight of the products. The gross weight is generally equal to the net weight of the product plus the weight of the packaging or container.

Gross weight = Net weight + container

exceptional cases

As we have seen, the net is always the basis of what we are measuring, the heart of the product. The gross is simply the result of adding taxes to that base. According to the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), in an amount of money, the gross is that which has not undergone any withholding or discount. However, there is an exceptional case, as is the case of consumer prices.

Net and gross price

In the case of prices, the net value is greater than the gross value. Since the net price is the one paid by the final consumer, a price that includes taxes. For example, when a businessman fixes the price of a product, he establishes the price at which he must sell it to cover his costs and make some profit, at this price is known as the gross price. Then he adds the taxes ( VAT in this case), giving the net price as the final value.

Net price = Gross price + taxes (VAT)

Summary of the most used gross and net figures:



Total salary of a worker without deducting taxes and Social SecurityGross salary – Taxes – Social Security
Net sales – cost of goods soldGross profit – taxes – interest – depreciation – general expenses
It is gross profit divided by net sales.Gross margin – taxes – interest – depreciation – general expenses
The total amount of sales without making any adjustmentsGross sales – returns – bonuses – rebates – discounts
Inner Product
Value of final goods and services produced by a countryGDP – cost of raw materials – cost of services – depreciation
Weight of a product plus packaging or containerproduct weight
Price set for saleGross price + taxes (VAT)