Are you hiring independent contractors abroad and wondering about the difference between gross pay and net pay? It can be confusing, but don't worry—we're here to help.
So, what exactly is gross pay?
Gross pay is the total amount of money that an employee or independent contractor earns before any deductions are taken out. This can include taxes, social security contributions, and other deductions that are taken out of the paycheck.
On the other hand, net pay is the amount of money that an employee or independent contractor actually takes home after all deductions are taken out. This is the amount that is deposited into their bank account, and is the money that they can actually use to pay their bills, buy groceries, and do all of the other things we love to do with our hard-earned money.
Now, you might be wondering why there's a difference between gross pay and net pay. Well, it all comes down to taxes and other deductions that are taken out of the paycheck. For example, in the United States, employees and independent contractors are required to pay federal income tax, state income tax (in some states), and social security and Medicare taxes. These taxes are deducted from the gross pay to arrive at the net pay.
A December 2022 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average American worker's gross pay was $32.93 per hour. Americans typically pay about 20% of their gross in taxes, leaving them about $26.30. Quite the difference!
It's worth noting that different countries may have different tax rates and deductions, which can impact the difference between gross pay and net pay. It's important to be aware of any relevant legal and regulatory considerations when hiring independent contractors abroad.
As an employer, why is it important to understand the difference between gross pay and net pay?
It’s important to be transparent with your independent contractors about how their pay is calculated and what deductions will be taken out. Odds are, if you’re hiring contractors, they’ll be doing all the deductions on their own—what they receive from you is gross pay.
While you are generally not responsible for taking deductions out of a contractor's paycheck in the United States, it's important to check whether your contractor's country of residence has additional reporting or deduction requirements.
By being transparent about how pay is calculated and what deductions are taken out, you can build a stronger working relationship with your independent contractors. Just be sure to consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are complying with all relevant laws and regulations. And remember, whether it's gross pay or net pay, we all love getting paid for our hard work!
If you’re hiring contractors, you’re probably spending too much time on their payroll, contracts, and tax documents. Which is why we built Panther, which saves you 90% the time you spend on contractor paperwork each month.
With Panther, you can compliantly hire your contractors in 150+ countries, onboard them in minutes, and pay them all at once (in a click). It’s global contractor payroll, finally simplified.
Sound interesting? Click here to watch a 4-minute product demo and see the platform firsthand (without ever having to book a lengthy product demo call).