You can quickly find your annual income and year-to-date earnings on payroll documents issued by your employer. You can specifically find both your gross pay and net earnings after deductions. If you don’t have your pay stub but you know your weekly gross wages and net pay amounts, you can easily figure out how much you’ve earned so far this year with a little basic math or by using a year-to-date income calculator. You can use this calculation regardless of whether you earn a salary or an hourly rate.
What Is Gross Income vs. Net Pay?
Decide whether you want to know the amount of your gross income, net income or both before you calculate your year-to-date (YTD) earnings. The gross amount you earn is the agreed-upon annual salary you earn or the total number of hours of pre-tax wages earned before you subtract taxes and any benefits. A self-employed individual or independent contractor would begin with their earnings and subtract the costs of doing business, such as rent, supplies and/or inventory to arrive at their YTD earnings.
The amount of money you get to put into your savings or checking account post-tax is your net pay. Your gross pay for a week would be $1,000 if you earn $52,000 per year in salary. If you take home $850 after taxes like FICA (Social Security and Medicare) and other federal taxes, state income taxes and other local taxes plus any voluntary benefits, such as health insurance or a 401(k) contribution, that’s your net pay.
The IRS provides a withholding calculator on its website where you can enter your personal information to determine if you're getting your income tax withholding just right to arrive at your correct net pay.
How Do I Calculate YTD Income?
“Year-to-date earnings” refers to the amount of pay you’ve earned from the beginning of the year up through your last paycheck, according to the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Your year-to-date gross pay has been $12,000 if you earn $1,000 per week and have worked 12 weeks. You can find this number on your pay stub, along with year-to-date taxes withheld, benefits deductions and retirement account matches and contributions, depending on how your company handles paychecks. This is useful if you must reconstruct a W-2 for a federal income tax return.
If you don’t have a paystub handy or don’t have quick access to the account where you deposit your paychecks, or you just cash your paychecks and don’t put them into an account, you can still find your year-to-date earnings. You must know your weekly, bi-weekly or semi-monthly gross and/or net income amounts (depending on how often you’re paid).
Multiply your take-home pay by the number of times you've been paid this year. For example:
- You make $1,850 in take-home pay every two weeks.
- You’ve been paid 18 times this year.
- Multiply $1,850 by 18 to get $33,300.
Your year-to-date net earnings are $33,300 after 36 work weeks, or roughly 8.3 months.
Some self-employed persons work on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year. The method of the YTD calculation would be the same, but you would use different beginning and ending dates of the year depending on the fiscal year you’ve chosen.
What if You Leave Your Job?
If you’re planning on leaving your job on a specific date, you might want to know how much money you’ll have available based on what you'll be paid through your final working day. For this example, assume you’re working until the last day of a pay period for this example:
- You earn $60,000 annually and you're paid twice monthly, so you’ll be paid 24 times during the year.
- Divide $60,000 by 24. You receive $2,500 in gross pay each pay period.
- Your earnings to date on the day you quit will be $30,000 ($2,500 times 12) if you quit working after 12 pay periods.
You can use this same formula to calculate your net earnings or take-home pay to date on your end date with the company.
You’ll have to estimate what those amounts might be and add them to your base $30,000 figure if you're expecting any overtime pay, commissions or bonuses when you leave. Include any benefits that you know you're eligible to receive.
Is YTD the Same as Annual Income?
YTD is only the same as your annual income if you calculate it on the last day of the calendar year that you work. It would be the same if you calculated it on Dec. 31 and you worked that day. It would be the same on Dec. 15 if you worked on that day but took the rest of the year off.
It would not be the same if you calculated YTD on Dec. 15, then worked the last two days of December. Your annual income would be determined by that Dec. 31 date.
How Do I Calculate Monthly Gross Income From YTD?
Calculate your YTD income based on the last full month that you worked. Using the Dec. 15 example again, you would calculate your YTD as of Nov. 30 then divide the resulting number by 11 to arrive at your monthly income because November is the 11th month of the year.
Hashaw Elkins is a financial services and tax professional, as well as a project management consultant. She has led projects across multiple industries and sectors, ranging from the Fortune Global 500 to international nongovernmental organizations. Hashaw holds an MBA in Real Estate and an MSci in Project Management. She is further certified in organizational change management, diversity management, and cross-cultural mediation.