Straight Line Depreciation

straight line depreciation formula

If you sell the equipment for more than the salvage value, you have to record a profit in the income statement. However, if you sell the equipment at the end of its useful life for less than the salvage value, you will need to record this as a loss. The $1,000 will be transferred to the income statement as a depreciation statement for eight consecutive years.

Thus, they would be depreciable and other team members like architects along with other design professionals should be aware of these basic tax rules. One case study that proved decorations were actually necessary to the business and therefore depreciable was one company’s use of aluminum composite material or ACM panels on windows. These panels are used by a variety of industries like auto manufacturers and construction. It is advantageous to use the straight-line method when the usage of the asset in all the years is fairly uniform. REthority is supported by ads and participation in affiliate programs. The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as financial or legal advice.

Accumulated depreciation is known as a contra account, because it separately shows a negative amount that is directly associated with an accumulated depreciation account on the balance sheet. Depreciation expense is usually charged against the relevant asset directly. The values of the fixed assets stated on the balance sheet will decline, even if the business has not invested in or disposed of any assets.

Methods For Depreciation

For example, office furniture and fixtures fall under the seven-year property class, which is the amount of time you have to depreciate these assets. With the double-declining balance method, higher depreciation is posted at the beginning of the useful life of the asset, with lower depreciation expenses coming later. This method is an accelerated depreciation method because more expenses are posted in an asset’s early years, with fewer expenses being posted in later years. This approach works by calculating depreciation as a percentage straight line depreciation and then depreciating the asset at twice the percentage rate. The straight-line depreciation method is one of the most popular depreciation methods used to charge depreciation expenses from fixed assets equally period assets’ useful life. Once calculated, depreciation expense is recorded in the accounting records as a debit to the depreciation expense account and a credit to the accumulated depreciation account. Accumulated depreciation is a contra asset account, which means that it is paired with and reduces the fixed asset account.

Below are a few other methods one can use to calculate depreciation. By estimating depreciation, companies can spread the cost of an asset over several years. The straight-line depreciation method is a simple and reliable way small business owners can calculate depreciation.

straight line depreciation formula

For economic depreciation, see Depreciation and Fixed capital § Economic depreciation. As $500 calculated above represents the depreciation cost for 12 months, it has been reduced to 6 months equivalent to reflect the number of months the asset was actually available for use. A fixed asset having a useful life of 3 years is purchased on 1 January 2013. Depreciation expenseXYZ Accumulated depreciationXYZThe credit is always made to the accumulated depreciation, and not to the cost account directly. If you want to check the accuracy of your computation, you can use the straight line depreciation calculator. After entering all of the required information, the straight line depreciation calculator will automatically generate a straight line depreciation table for you. Straight line depreciation is, in general, considered the default method for calculating the depreciation of assets.

Business Types

However, when using the double-declining balance method of depreciation, an entity is not required to only accelerate depreciation by two. They are able to choose an acceleration factor appropriate for their specific situation. Because this method is the most universally used, we will present a full example of how to account for straight-line depreciation expense on a finance lease later in our article. Depreciation is a way to account for the reduction of an asset’s value as a result of using the asset over time. Depreciation generally applies to an entity’s owned fixed assets or to its right-of-use assets arising from finance leases for lessees.

  • This method is commonly used by companies with assets that lose their value or become obsolete more quickly.
  • Straight-line depreciation is often the easiest and most straightforward way of calculating depreciation, which means it’ll result in fewer errors.
  • Straight Line Depreciation Method is a highly recommended method as it is the easiest method for calculating Depreciation.
  • As $500 calculated above represents the depreciation cost for 12 months, it has been reduced to 6 months equivalent to reflect the number of months the asset was actually available for use.
  • An accelerated depreciation method that is commonly used is Double-declining balance.

Keep in mind that we are assuming that we put this asset into service at the beginning of the year. In the last section of this tutorial we discuss how to handle depreciation when an asset is put into service in the middle of the year. Contra AccountContra Account is an opposite entry passed to offset its related original account balances in the ledger. It helps a business retrieve the actual capital amount & amount of decrease in the value, hence representing the account’s net balances. They have estimated the useful life of the machine to be 8 years with a salvage value of $ 2,000. There are generally accepted depreciation estimates for most major asset types that provide some constraint. Let’s say you own a small business and you decide you want to buy a new computer server at a cost of $5,000.


Business owners use straight line depreciation to write off the expense of a fixed asset. The straight line method of depreciation gradually reduces the value of fixed or tangible assets by a set amount over a specific period of time. Only tangible assets, or assets you can touch, can be depreciated, with intangible assets amortized instead. When the three years have ended, $200 will represent the carrying value on the balance sheet. The depreciation expense will be finished for the straight line depreciation method and you can get rid of the asset.

straight line depreciation formula

A depreciation schedule is required in financial modeling to link the three financial statements in Excel. When a long-term asset is purchased, it should be capitalized instead of being expensed in the accounting period it is purchased in. The fine details of depreciation can be quite complex, especially when it applies to decorations vs necessary structures of the building. One of the most important rules of determining a depreciable asset is if it’s used in income-producing activities. With MACRS, useful life is already determined for specific asset classes like residential and commercial rental property.

A software solution such as LeaseQuery can assist in the calculation and management of depreciation expense on your finance leases. To calculate the straight-line depreciation expense, the lessee takes the gross asset value calculated above of $843,533 divided by 10 years to calculate an annual depreciation expense of $84,353. The next step in the calculation is simple, but you have to subtract the salvage value. Things wear out at different rates, which calls for different methods of depreciation, like the double declining balance method, the sum of years method, or the unit-of-production method. Many systems allow an additional deduction for a portion of the cost of depreciable assets acquired in the current tax year. A deduction for the full cost of depreciable tangible personal property is allowed up to $500,000 through 2013.

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But keep in mind this opens up the risk of overestimating the asset’s value. Suppose an asset for a business cost $11,000, will have a life of 5 years and a salvage value of $1,000.

The straight Line Depreciation formula assumes that the benefit from the asset will be derived evenly over its useful life. At the end of the useful life of an asset, the value of the asset becomes Zero or equal to the realizable value. This method depreciates the asset in a straight downward sloping line. You can’t get a good grasp of the total value of your assets unless you figure out how much they’ve depreciated. This is especially important for businesses that own a lot of expensive, long-term assets that have long useful lives. Compared to the other three methods, straight line depreciation is by far the simplest. Learn accounting fundamentals and how to read financial statements with CFI’s free online accounting classes.

What Is An Example Of Straight Line Depreciation?

Ken is the author of four Dummies books, including “Cost Accounting for Dummies.” To get a better understanding of how to calculate straight-line depreciation, let’s look at a few examples below. This is very important because we need to calculate depreciable values or amounts. Costs to bringing the asset to the location and condition and these costs should also be capitalized. As can be seen from the above table – At the end of 8 years, i.e., after its useful life is over, the machine has depreciated to its salvage value. Hence, the Company will depreciate the machine by $1000 every year for 8 years. Also, you should note that depreciation is not reported separately in Colgate.

If you use the asset for personal and for business reasons, you are only allowed to deduct depreciation based on only the business use of the asset. When crunching numbers in the office, you can record your vessel depreciating $21,000 per year over a 10-year period using the straight-line method. This entry will be the same for five years, and at the end of the fifth-year asset net book value will remain only USD 5,000.

Retiring Assets

Also, this method isn’t cost-effective if the information you get as a result isn’t used by the people who go through the financial statements of the company. This means that the cost that’s associated with the production of depreciation information that’s more accurate might not prove valuable, especially if it doesn’t result in specific actions. It’s not advisable to use this method if there’s no significant difference in the usage of assets from one period to another. This might result in you having to spend too much time keeping track of the asset’s usage. However, you’ll only get results which have very slight differences compared to if you used the straight line depreciation method.

The straight-line depreciation is calculated by dividing the difference between assets cost and its expected salvage value by the number of years for its expected useful life. Alternatively, depreciation expense for a period can be calculated by dividing the depreciable amount by the number of time periods. The depreciation expense worked out under this method would always correspond to the time unit used for expressing useful retained earnings balance sheet life, i.e. useful life in months must be used to work out monthly depreciation. For investments, the cost basis of the asset is usually the total amount you originally invested in the asset plus any commissions, fees or other expenditures involved in the purchase. For tax purposes, it’s important to note if you reinvested any dividends and capital gains distributions rather than taking those distributions in cash.

How To Calculate Straight

To find the double-declining balance, multiply 2 by the straight line depreciation percentage and by the book value at the beginning of the period. You’d use this method for property that depreciates faster in its first few years of use, such as a company vehicle. The straight line depreciation method gives you a realistic picture of your business’s profit margin using long-term assets. Straight assets = liabilities + equity line depreciation can be calculated on assets such as manufacturing equipment, vehicles, office furniture, computers, and office buildings. These types of assets are known as long-term assets as they are essential to operating your business on a day-to-day basis and lasts for more than one year. When you divide the costs of these assets, you are able to have a full view of your profit margins.

Let’s break down how you can calculate straight-line depreciation step-by-step. We’ll use an office copier as an example asset for calculating the straight-line depreciation rate.

Author: David Paschall

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