How to calculate gross wages for taxes

If you need to determine your gross annual income, you can get a rough estimate if you know your hourly wage and the number of hours you work every pay period. If you have paystubs showing your net earnings and all of your deductions, it's a fairly simple matter to add everything together to determine your gross earnings.

Multiply your hourly wage times the number of hours worked weekly.

Multiply your overtime rate (usually 1.5) by your hourly wage, then multiply that figure by the number of hours of overtime worked weekly. If you work overtime only occasionally, use an average number of hours per week.

Add the totals from Step 1 and Step 2. This is your gross weekly income.

Multiply the result from Step 3 by 52. If you don't work a full 52-week year, multiply by the number of weeks you work. This is your gross annual income.

Add the net pay to any deductions withheld from your paycheck, such as FICA, Medicare, Federal, state and local taxes, retirement contributions and health insurance premiums.

Determine the gross amount of overtime pay you received per pay period. If you don't know the gross overtime amount, multiply your hourly rate by 1.5, then multiply that figure by the number of overtime hours worked. If you work overtime only occasionally, use an average number of overtime hours per pay period. Add this total to the total from Step 1..

Determine how often you're paid, whether weekly, every other week, monthly, etc.

Multiply the total from Step 2 by the number of paychecks you receive per year. For example, if you're paid weekly, multiply by 52. If you're paid every other week, multiply by 26. If you're paid monthly, multiply by 12. This is your gross annual income.


As of 2010, FICA (Social Security tax) is withheld at the rate of 6.2 per cent on wages up to £97,500. Medicare tax is withheld at the rate of 1.45 per cent with no limit on earnings. Your Federal tax rate is based on the number of deductions you claimed on your W-4, your filing status (Married Filing Separately, Single, etc.), and your tax bracket. In 2009, the lowest Federal income tax rate for a single person was 10 per cent for income between £0 and £5,427, and the highest rate was 35 per cent for £242,417 and over. For a married couple filing jointly, the lowest rate in 2009 was 10 per cent for income between 0 and £10, 700. The highest rate was 35 for £242,417 and over.


These methods of calculating your gross income might not be acceptable for Federal tax purposes. Consult a professional tax preparer for assistance.

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Things Needed

  • Hourly wage
  • Number of hours worked per pay period
  • Pay stub or pay record
  • Calculator
  • Pencil and paper

About the Author

Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.

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