Gross income is a person's total pay prior to taxes and other deductions. For many individuals, gross income is simply the total amount of wage or salary payments received within one year. Other sources of gross income are dividends, alimony, interest income, pensions, rental income, and capital gains. Some types of income are not included in gross income, such as municipal bond income, social security benefits, and gifts below a certain threshold level. Thus, if a person has been paid wages of $65,000 and also received $3,000 of interest income and $500 of dividend income, her total gross income is $68,500.
Gross income is sometimes used by lenders as a guideline for determining the total amount of debt that a borrower can sustain. For example, a common lending guideline is that a borrower cannot borrow more than 28% of her gross income.