Residual income is income that a person continues to make after the work he has put into a project has been completed. Residual income is different from linear income in that linear income refers to someone’s salary. Salaries are paid based on the number of hours someone works in the present, rather than the royalties someone can earn on work that was done in the past. To explore this concept, consider the following residual income definition.
Residual income is calculated as net income less a charge for the cost of capital. The charge is known as the equity charge and is calculated as the value of equity capital multiplied by the cost of equity or the required rate of return on equity. Given the opportunity cost of equity, a company can have positive net income but negative residual income.