What is Straight Line Depreciation?


In subsequent years, the dollar amount of https://bookkeeping-reviews.com/ will change as the asset’s value at the beginning of the year decreases. At the beginning of the second year, our $5,000 example asset will be worth $4,000. Therefore, the second year’s annual depreciation using the double-declining method would be $800, or 20% of $4,000. To calculate this, you must add the depreciation figures for each year. This step will give you the total depreciation taken for the asset. QuickBooks provides an easy guide and formula to help small business owners understand and calculate straight-line depreciation.


Thus, the depreciation expense in the income statement remains the same for a particular asset over the period. As such, the income statement is expensed evenly, and so is the asset’s value on the balance sheet. The asset’s carrying amount on the balance sheet reduces by the same amount.

What are realistic assumptions in the straight-line method of depreciation?

The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Subtract the estimated salvage value of the asset from the amount at which it is recorded on the books.

The equipment has an expected life of 10 years and a salvage value of $500. Companies use depreciation for physical assets, and amortization forintangible assetssuch as patents and software. Both conventions are used to expense an asset over a longer period of time, not just in the period it was purchased. In other words, companies can stretch the cost of assets over many different time frames, which lets them benefit from the asset without deducting the full cost from net income . Straight line basis is a method of calculating depreciation and amortization, the process of expensing an asset over a longer period of time than when it was purchased. The estimated useful life value used in our calculations are for illustration purposes. If you are calculating depreciation value for tax purposes, you should get the accurate, useful life figure from the Internal Revenue Agency .

Advantages and Disadvantages of Straight-Line Depreciation

Is the scrap or residual proceeds expected from a company asset's disposal after the end of the asset's useful life. Is the initial purchase or construction cost of the asset as well as any related capital expenditure. The information provided on this website does not constitute insurance advice. All content and materials are for general informational purposes only. Complete Embroker’s online application and contact one of our licensed insurance professionals to obtain advice for your specific business insurance needs. Get our tips on big-picture strategy and actionable tactics for startup equity, small businesses, crypto, real estate, and more.


Different methods of asset depreciation are used to more accurately reflect the depreciation and current value of an asset. A company may elect to use one depreciation method over another in order to gain tax or cash flow advantages. 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. For example, with constant use, a piece of company machinery bought in 2015 would have depreciated by 2019. The depreciation expenses could be tallied as an expense and put in the business’s income statement for that month. The same amount would then be put under accumulated depreciation as a credit. This will help a business to cumulatively see how much they are writing off through their depreciating assets.

What is straight-line depreciation?

It is a contra-account, the difference between the asset's purchase price and its carrying value on the balance sheet. Its assets include Land, building, machinery, and equipment; all are reported at costs. Even if you’re still struggling with understanding some accounting terms, fortunately, straight line depreciation is pretty straightforward.

What are some examples of depreciation?

Some examples of the most common types of depreciable assets include vehicles; buildings; office equipment or furniture; computers and other electronics; machinery and equipment; and certain intangible items, such as patents, copyrights, and computer software.

Under MACRS, you have the option of two different systems of determining the “life” of your asset, the GDS and the ADS . These two systems offer different methods and recovery periods for arriving at depreciation deductions. Under ADS, your only option is to use straight-line depreciation.

Step 1. Purchase Cost, Useful Life and Salvage Value Assumptions

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. This method was created to reflect the consumption pattern of the underlying asset. It is used when there’s no pattern to how you use the asset over time. Straight line depreciation is a common method of depreciation where the value of a fixed asset is reduced over its useful life.

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