Net of Tax: Definition, Benefits of Analysis, and How to Calculate

What Is Net of Tax?

The term net of tax refers to the amount left after adjusting for the effects of taxes. Net of tax can be a consideration in any situation where taxation is involved. Individuals and businesses often analyze before- and after-tax values to make investment and purchasing decisions. Net of tax is also an important part of expense analysis when reviewing annual tax filings and the net income of businesses. 

Key Takeaways

  • Net of tax is the amount left after adjusting for the effects of taxes.
  • Net of tax analysis can be important to consider in all situations where taxes may be involved.
  • Some scenarios where the net of tax can be especially important include large asset purchases with sales tax, before and after-tax contributions, and income taxes for individuals or businesses.

Net of Tax

Understanding Net of Tax

In the financial industry, gross and net are two key terms that refer to before and after paying certain expenses. In general, 'net of' refers to a value found after expenses have been accounted for. Therefore, the net of tax is simply the amount left after taxes have been subtracted.

There can be several scenarios where net of tax is important. Three of the most common are large asset purchases with sales tax, before and after-tax contributions, and an entity's total profit after tax.

Taxes can be a part of asset sales and purchases. Most large assets like cars, trucks, and motorcycles require a sales tax at the time of purchase. Sellers of these items may also be required to pay taxes on capital gains. Property has its own tax rules and is often not subject to sales tax. Many real estate owners can often qualify for tax breaks that help them reduce any capital gains taxes they might have to pay on real estate property sold.

The total taxes on a transaction are subtracted from the income or gains to calculate net of tax.

Calculating Net of Tax

For purchases, you'll need to consider the taxes and subtract them from the total amount you paid. For income, you subtract the amount you paid in taxes for the period from the amount you earned.

For example, if you earn $60,000 per year but paid $7,200 in taxes, you made $52,800 net of tax for the year.

Another example might be a company that sells one of its assets — it is usually not responsible for sales tax but may have to pay capital gains taxes. If a company bought a factory for $600,000 and sells it 10 years later for $1 million, it would have realized $400,000 in capital gains. Capital gains are taxed at 15%, so it would generally owe $60,000 in taxes on the sale. It would have profited $340,000 net of tax ($400,000 - $60,000) without considering other expenses for the transaction.

Net of Tax Strategies

Net of tax strategies can be important in the investment and financial planning world. Since investors must pay taxes on their capital gains, many strategies are deployed to reduce or avoid the impact of taxes.

Tax Advantaged Investing

There are several investments and investment vehicles labeled as tax-advantaged. Municipal bonds are one of the most common tax-advantaged investments, with most of the asset class offering no federal tax on gains.

Investors can also choose to hold assets for more than one year to pay a reduced long-term capital gains tax versus the short-term capital gains rate, which adds the gains to the investor's income if they meet the income requirements. Moreover, some investors may invest to avoid alternative minimum taxes (AMT), which can apply to any investor but usually are a factor for taxpayers who itemize or those with higher net worth.   

Retirement Accounts

Before and after-tax investing or contributions can also be important for many investors. Any before-tax contribution lowers the value of taxable income. Any after-tax contribution is considered to be net of tax with taxes already subtracted.

Investing in 401ks or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) is often done with before or after-tax contributions. 401ks and traditional IRAs are often paid into from pre-tax dollars, which helps to lower an investor’s taxable payroll income. Effectively, these types of vehicles tax the investor at the time of withdrawal. Alternatively, Roth IRAs are invested with after-tax dollars. Thus, Roth IRAs are not taxed at the time of withdrawal.

Roth IRA accounts can also provide unique opportunities to invest without taxation. For instance, if you had a Roth IRA account with $100,000 in stocks and $100,000 in bonds, it's possible to sell stocks and bonds within the account without ever paying taxes on gains when you make a withdrawal as long as you meet the criteria for a qualified distribution.

Employer Benefits

Some companies may also offer tax-advantaged benefits like pre-tax deductions for purchasing transportation cards as part of their employee benefit plans. Any pre-tax deductions for regular expenses can be helpful because they lower the taxable amount and increase net of tax values.

Net of Tax and Income

Analyzing gross versus net income for an annual tax year is often an important scenario involving net of tax consideration. Overall, individuals and businesses can take expense deductions that reduce their taxable income. Entities may also take credits that reduce any tax they owe. Both individuals and businesses make regular tax payments throughout the year, which should also be monitored to ensure optimal net of tax earnings.

Individuals will have the following annual income tax rates for the 2022 tax year (filed in 2023):

   Single Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household
10% Less than $10,275 Less than $20,550  Less than $10,275 Less than $14,650 
12%  $10,275 $20,550   $10,275 $55,900 
22%  $41,775 $83,550   $41,775 $89,050 
24%  $89,075 $178,150   $89,075 $170,050 
32%  $170,050 $431,900   $170,050 $215,950 
35%  $215,950  $431,900   $215,950  $539,900 


The annual tax rate generally assessed on corporations.

At the end of the tax year, when entities file their tax returns, certain deductions or credits can help to reduce the taxes they owe. Arriving at the total net of tax figure requires subtracting all the income taxes paid throughout the year from the gross income received.

If you receive a refund at tax time, this can be a type of reimbursement for taxes already withheld. Your refund then offsets your net of tax income. In general, individuals and businesses usually seek to take advantage of as many tax deductions and credits as possible to reduce the total taxes paid and increase their annual net of tax value.

Is Net of Tax Before or After?

Net of tax is what remains after all taxes have been subtracted from your gross pay or income.

Does Net Means Including or Excluding?

"Net" refers to the amount left over after reducing (including) a specific amount in the calculation. Net of taxes means income after taxes.

How Do I Calculate Net of Tax?

The easiest way is to subtract what you've paid in taxes from what you've earned.

The Bottom Line

Net of taxes is the amount of money you have left after subtracting taxes. It's generally used by businesses or investors who are measuring available capital to make decisions that affect their company or investments. Individuals can use it to learn how much they've earned or spent after accounting for taxes paid.

Article Sources
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  1. Internal Revenue Service. "Sale of Residence -- Real Estate Tax Tips." Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.

  2. Internal Revenue Service. "Sale of Business." Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.

  3. Internal Revenue Service. "Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses," Page 13. Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.

  4. Internal Revenue Service. "Publication 590-B (2021), Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)."

  5. Internal Revenue Service. "Rev. Proc. 2021-45," Page 6.

  6. Tax Policy Center. "How Does the Corporate Income Tax Work?"

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