Gross vs Net Income

Taxes: Do I pay on Gross on Net Income?

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Ever wondered whether your small business should be paying taxes on its gross income or net income?

If so, you’re not alone. Small business taxation can be a perplexing maze, but fear not! I’m here to clear up the confusion and shed light on the best approach.

So, should you be paying taxes on your gross or net income?”

In this article, I’ll shed light on the differences between these two approaches and explain why accurate bookkeeping is crucial to ensure that small businesses pay their taxes correctly.


Gross Income vs. Net Income

Before delving into the tax implications, let’s clarify the distinction between gross income and net income:

1. Gross Income:

Gross income represents the total revenue generated by a business before deducting any expenses. It includes all the money a business earns through its primary operations. This figure does not consider any costs, such as rent, utilities, employee salaries, or materials.

2. Net Income:

Net income, on the other hand, is the amount of money a business has left after subtracting all its allowable expenses from its gross income. These expenses can include operating costs, depreciation, interest, and taxes. Net income is essentially the profit a business earns.

Taxation of Small Businesses

The tax treatment of small businesses often depends on their legal structure, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or LLCs. Here’s a breakdown of how these entities typically handle taxes:

 1. Sole Proprietorships and LLC – One Member:

In these business structures, the owners report their business income and expenses on their personal tax returns. Small businesses in this category usually pay taxes on their net income. They report their gross income but subtract qualifying expenses to calculate their taxable income.

2. S-Corporations, Partnerships, or LLPs:

S-Corporations and LLPs and LLCs with multiple members often choose to be taxed as pass-through entities, which means their business income is reported to each owner based on the percentage of ownership. A K-1 is distributed to each owner or partner to be reported on their personal income tax return.

3. C-Corporations

C-corporations are subject to corporate income tax on their net income. However, they can also face double taxation when distributing profits to shareholders.


Importance of Accurate Bookkeeping

Accurate bookkeeping is the cornerstone of correct tax reporting for small businesses. Here’s why it’s essential:

1. Compliance with Tax Laws:

Maintaining detailed and accurate financial records ensures that you meet all tax filing requirements and deadlines. This reduces the risk of fines and penalties for late or incorrect tax submissions.

2. Maximizing Deductions:

Proper bookkeeping allows you to track and document all deductible expenses. This can significantly lower your taxable income, resulting in lower tax liability.

3. Minimizing Errors:

Errors in financial records can lead to overpaying or underpaying taxes. This not only affects your bottom line but can also trigger audits and additional complications with tax authorities.

4. Future Financial Planning:

Reliable financial records provide insights into your business’s financial health, helping you make informed decisions and plan for growth or necessary cutbacks.


Accurate bookkeeping is the key to navigating this complex landscape and ensuring that you pay your taxes correctly. By keeping meticulous records, you not only stay compliant with tax laws but also optimize your financial outcomes and plan for a prosperous future.

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End the confusion on how to calculate taxes owed. Your priority is not to overpay on your taxes. 

Contact me today for a complimentary consultation to discuss getting your business taxes under control.