Straight Line Depreciation Method Explanation & Examples


How To Calculate Straight Line Depreciation Formula

Depreciation expense allocates the cost of a company’s use of an asset over its expected useful life. The expense is an income statement line item recognized throughout the life of the asset as a “non-cash” expense. After dividing How To Calculate Straight Line Depreciation Formula the $1 million purchase cost by the 20-year useful life assumption, we get $50k as the annual depreciation expense. Now, $ 1000 will be charged to the income statement as a depreciation expense for eight straight years.

How To Calculate Straight Line Depreciation Formula

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. From buildings to machines, equipment and tools, every business will have one or more fixed assets likely susceptible to depreciate or wear out gradually over time.

Changes in balance sheet activity

Calculating the depreciation expense is often used by businesses and individuals for tax purposes. The IRS uses the General Depreciation System method to calculate straight line depreciation for real estate assets. In regards to real estate, the acquisition cost of a property plus improvements expenses minus the value of non-depreciable land is used to determine depreciation.

How To Calculate Straight Line Depreciation Formula

A computer would face larger depreciation expenses in its early useful life and smaller depreciation expenses in the later periods of its useful life, due to the quick obsolescence of older technology. It would be inaccurate to assume a computer would incur the same depreciation expense over its entire useful life. In addition to straight line depreciation, there are also other methods of calculating depreciation of an asset. Different methods of asset depreciation are used to more accurately reflect the depreciation and current value of an asset.

Depreciation methods

An example of straight line depreciation is if a company buys a car for $10,000 and expects it to have a useful life of five years. The company will calculate the annual depreciation expense by dividing the cost of the car ($10,000) by the useful life of the car , which gives an annual depreciation expense of $2,000 per year. The company can then deduct this amount from their taxable income each year. For instance, if you are using the straight-line method to calculate depreciation expensesfor your company’s assets each month.

  • The straight line depreciation method helps a business maintain an accurate figure of their assets’ current value.
  • However, the simplicity of straight line basis is also one of its biggest drawbacks.
  • Straight-line depreciation is a simple method for calculating how much a particular fixed asset depreciates over time.
  • If you decide to sell the asset after 10 years, the salvage price will be $28.
  • Also, a straight line basis assumes that an asset’s value declines at a steady and unchanging rate.
  • Owning a business requires constantly monitoring a variety of assets.

But, you don’t have to do it yourself, especially if you run a large company with many assets that are liable to depreciation. You can always hire a professional accountant solution to handle this part of your business. The IRS has categorized depreciable assets into several property classes. These classes include properties that depreciate over three, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five years.

Why is Depreciation Important?

Although all the amount is paid for the machine at the time of purchase, the expense is charged over time. As an example, say you bought a copy machine for your business with a cost basis of $3,500 and a salvage value of $500.

How To Calculate Straight Line Depreciation Formula

There are a lot of reasons businesses choose to use the straight line depreciation method. There are many other methods of calculating depreciation, such as the declining balance method and the sum-of-the-years’ digits method. However, the straight line method is one of the most common and widely used ways to calculate depreciation. Using the straight-line depreciation method, the business finds the asset’s depreciable base is $40,000. Finishing the formula, the business finds the asset’s annual depreciation amount is $4,000. The entire value of the asset ($40,000 depreciable base) will be reclassified into the expense account over time. When you use the straight-line depreciation formula, the expense journal entry will be the same each year.

Final thoughts on straight line depreciation

From buildings to machines, equipment and tools, every business will have one or more fixed assets likely… A fixed asset account is reduced when paired with accumulated depreciation as it is a contra asset account.

Declining Balance Method: What It Is, Depreciation Formula – Investopedia

Declining Balance Method: What It Is, Depreciation Formula.

Posted: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:36:16 GMT [source]

There are good reasons for using both of these methods, and the right one depends on the asset type in question. The straight-line depreciation method is the easiest to use, so it makes for simplified accounting calculations. Straight line is the most straightforward and easiest method for calculating depreciation. It is most useful when an asset’s value decreases steadily over time at around the same rate. To calculate depreciation using a straight line basis, simply divide net price by the number of useful years of life the asset has.


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