# Straight Line Depreciation Method Definition, Examples

Tim worked as a tax professional for BKD, LLP before returning to school and receiving his Ph.D. from Penn State. He then taught tax and accounting to undergraduate and graduate students as an assistant professor at both the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi State University. Tim is a Certified QuickBooks Time Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor for both the Online and Desktop products, as well as a CPA with 25 years of experience. He most recently spent two years as the accountant at a commercial roofing company utilizing QuickBooks Desktop to compile financials, job cost, and run payroll. We record \$15,900 per year, which after seven years will be \$111,300. We’ll record the final \$700 in year eight to arrive at the total cost of \$112,000. The small amount of depreciation in year eight is due to the group life being slightly longer than seven years in Step 3.

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. After this, the sale price will be included back into cash and cash equivalents. You must record any losses or gains that are more or less than the estimated salvage value.

At any point in an asset’s useful life, its projected depreciation can give you hints on whether it is more financially beneficial to repair the asset or to replace it altogether. Double-declining balance depreciationconsiders the fact that new assets are usually significantly more productive in their early years. Many assets will lose more of their value during their first few years of operation than later down the road. By using the double-declining balance depreciation method, companies can keep the larger expenses on the books during the first several years. All depreciation calculations have the same overall goal, which is to assign the cost of a fixed asset over its entire lifespan. Depreciation allows a company to spread out the original purchase price over time, which better reflects how that particular asset is «used up.»

## Step 4: Determine The Annual Rate Of Depreciation

Full BioAmy is an ACA and the CEO and founder of OnPoint Learning, a financial training company delivering training to financial professionals. Straight Line Depreciation She has nearly two decades of experience in the financial industry and as a financial instructor for industry professionals and individuals.

Each \$1,600 charge will be balanced against a contra-account filed as plant, equipment, and property on the balance sheet. \$5,000 will be transferred to the property, plant and equipment line of the balance sheet from the cash and cash equivalents line of the balance sheet. Other reasons for using straight line depreciation is that this method is uncomplicated, simple to apply and easy to understand. The same amount is taken out on your tax return every year, so there is no guesswork involved. However, when accounting for every asset in the plant, calculating financials can get tedious.

## How Do You Know If Something Is A Noncurrent Asset?

Examples of tangible property may include buildings, production machinery, computer and technology systems, transportation vehicles, and furniture. According to the Internal Revenue Service, businesses may also depreciate particular intangible assets like copyrights, computer software, and patents.

Thus, an equal amount of the asset’s cost is deducted as depreciation expense against profit and loss during each year of the asset’s life. The vast majority of nonmanufacturing small businesses use straight-line depreciation because of its simplicity and reasonable allocation of costs across years. The double-declining balance method is a form of accelerated depreciation.

## Book Value Or Carrying Value Of Assets

Determine the initial cost of the asset that has been recognized as a fixed asset. Compared to the other three methods, straight line depreciation is by far the simplest. A fixed asset is a long-term tangible asset that a firm owns and uses to produce income and is not expected to be used or sold within a year. Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life to account for declines in value over time. Straight line basis is calculated by dividing the difference between an asset’s cost and its expected salvage value by the number of years it is expected to be used. Accumulated depreciation is the total amount of depreciation expense allocated to a specific asset since the asset was put into use.

You sell the property for \$250,000 and pop a champagne cork to celebrate your huge payday. Returning to the computer example, you planned on a scrap value of \$50 after five years. But instead, imagine you sell the computer for \$550 after five years. You had deducted \$1,500 for depreciation over five years, but your actual loss was only \$1,000.

## When To Use Straight Line Depreciation

The straight line method of depreciation provides small business owners with an easy and simple formula for depreciation. In setting up your small business https://www.bookstime.com/ accounting system, knowing your depreciation methods can help you choose the right method that matches the pattern of usage of your fixed assets.

Whereas the depreciable base is the purchase price minus the salvage value. Depreciation continues until the asset value declines to its salvage value. Even if you’re still struggling with understanding some accounting terms, fortunately, straight line depreciation is pretty straightforward. If you’re looking for accounting software to help you keep better track of your depreciation expenses, be sure to check out The Ascent’s accounting software reviews. Because Sara’s copier’s useful life is five years, she would divide 1 into 5 in order to determine its annual depreciation rate. Ideal for those just becoming familiar with accounting basics such as the accounting cycle, straight line depreciation is the most frequent depreciation method used by small businesses.

## Recording Straight

The straight line depreciation calculation should make it clear how much leeway management has in managing reported earnings in any given period. It might seem that management has a lot of discretion in determining how high or low reported earnings are in any given period, and that’s correct. Depreciation policies play into that, especially for asset-intensive businesses. The straight-line depreciation method is a preferred method for calculating asset depreciation costs because it only requires the use of three different variables . You will find the depreciation expense used for each period until the value of the asset declines to its salvage value.

To calculate straight line basis, take the purchase price of an asset and then subtract the salvage value, its estimated sell-on value when it is no longer expected to be needed. Then divide the resulting figure by the total number of years the asset is expected to be useful, referred to as the useful life in accounting jargon. Straight-line depreciation is the simplest of the various depreciation methods. Under this method, yearly depreciation is calculated by dividing an asset’s depreciable cost by its estimated useful life. Congress often passes laws that enable more accelerated depreciation methods to be used on business tax returns.

It allows you to reduce the value of a tangible asset, thereby lowering your total expenses . A straight-line basis is a method of calculating Depreciation and amortization.

Also, to apply this method, the period for which the asset is underuse need to be considered. For example, when an asset is under use for 3 months in a year, then the depreciation charge will be only for 3 months. But, in the case of income tax purposes, if the asset is in use for more than 180 days, the depreciation charge will be for the full year. This method is very useful in the case of the assets where the useful life and the residual value are easy to calculate accurately. However, in cases wherein the initial years, the cost of repairs is low and will increase in the following years, the straight-line method will increase the charge on profit. The method is called “straight line” because the formula, when laid out on a graph, creates a straight, downward trend, with the same rate of loss per year. Typically, real estate investors want to deduct as much as possible right now, for the current tax year, but Uncle Sam often forces them to slow down and depreciate expenses over time.

It is best to avoid using straight line depreciation when it is difficult to predict the useful life of an asset. Just about any major piece of tangible property as well as some intangible propertycan be depreciated over time.

• The small amount of depreciation in year eight is due to the group life being slightly longer than seven years in Step 3.
• Calculate the estimated useful life of the asset – this is how many years the asset is expected to remain functional and fit-for-purpose.
• Divide the total depreciable amount by the useful life of the asset to get the annual depreciation amount.
• Don’t overestimate the salvage value of an asset since it will reduce the depreciation expense you can take.
• Depending on your particular business and the assets you are depreciating, you want to choose the method that most accurately reflects the rate of use and deterioration of your assets.

The useful life of this machine is six years, and the salvage value in eight years will be \$900. You want to compute yearly depreciation expense, using the straight-line method. Calculate the estimated useful life of the asset – this is how many years the asset is expected to remain functional and fit-for-purpose. One downside of using the straight-line depreciation method is that it bases the useful life calculation used in this formula on a guesstimate. This means that it does not account for potential situations that could render the asset useless or that could expand the useful life of the asset. Sally recently furnished her new office, purchasing desks, lamps, and tables. The total cost of the furniture and fixtures, including tax and delivery, was \$9,000.

By a large margin, the most easily understandable and widely-used depreciation method is the straight-line method. In this approach, an equal amount of depreciation is assigned to each year in the asset’s service life. Use straight-line depreciation for rental properties, commercial properties, and capital improvements to them. Investors can also choose the depreciation method they want to use for purchases like appliances, electronic equipment, and work vehicles. This method typically doesn’t apply to real estate investors, with the possible exception of depreciating a work-related vehicle based on mileage driven.

Assets, like equipment and machinery, are generally expected to depreciate over a defined amount of time. Understanding asset depreciation is an important part of running any business. The straight-line method is the most straightforward approach to calculating depreciation or amortisation.

## What Are The Different Ways To Calculate Depreciation?

The depreciation charge from one period to the other will be same as the cost of the asset, useful life of the asset and the length of each period remains constant. Accelerated depreciation methods apply a higher amount of depreciation at the beginning of an asset’s useful life and a lower amount of depreciation toward the end. As such, it «accelerates» the depreciation taken in earlier years. Your write-offs will be higher up front if you use an accelerated depreciation method. The straight-line Depreciation method makes it easy for you to calculate the expense of any fixed asset in your business.

Divide the total depreciable amount by the useful life of the asset to get the annual depreciation amount. Under the straight-line depreciation method, the division of the cost of the asset is equal during its useful life. So that depreciation charged is equal for every year for the entire useful life of that asset. At the end of the useful life of the asset, its value is nil or equal to the residual value.

If the asset continues in use, there will be \$0 depreciation expense in each of the subsequent years. The asset’s cost and its accumulated depreciation balance will remain in the general ledger accounts until the asset is disposed of. Note that the account credited in the above adjusting entries is not the asset account Equipment.