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Straight Line Depreciation Calculator

January 17, 2022
Bill Kimball

straight line depreciation

Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life and is used to account for declines in value over time. One method accountants use to determine this amount is the straight line basis method. It 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. Subtract the estimated salvage value of the asset from the cost of the asset to get the total depreciable amount. Calculate the depreciation expenses by using the straight-line method is really, really simple and quite straight forwards. This is one of the main reasons why this method is selected by most of the accountant.

straight line depreciation

This is sometimes referred to as the residual value, scrap value, or salvage value. You don’t depreciate the salvage value of the asset because it’s the amount you expect to recover at the end of the assets useful life. We’ve broken down straight line depreciation for you into 4 easy steps.

Estimated Useful Life

It is most useful when an asset’s value decreases steadily over time at around the same rate. However, the simplicity of straight line basis is also one of its biggest drawbacks. One of the most obvious pitfalls of using this method is that the useful life calculation is based on guesswork. For example, there is always a risk that technological advancements could potentially render the asset obsolete earlier than expected. Moreover, the straight line basis does not factor in the accelerated loss of an asset’s value in the short-term, nor the likelihood that it will cost more to maintain as it gets older. The equipment has an expected life of 10 years and a salvage value of $500. Depreciation expenses are a type of operating expense, but sometimes we also charge to cost of goods sold or the cost of products if those fixed assets involve with the production.

What is the main characteristic of straight line depreciation?

Straight Line Method:

(1) Depreciation rate and amount remain the same in each year of asset’s life. (2) Depreciation rate (%) is always applied on original cost of asset. (3) Straight line depreciation method is relatively easy and simple to use.

Divide the estimated full useful life into 1 to arrive at the straight-line depreciation rate. Straight Line Depreciation is a depreciation method used to calculate an asset’s value that reduces throughout its useful life. Fortunately, they’ll balance out in time as the so-called tax timing differences resolve themselves over the useful life of the asset.

For example, due to rapid technological advancements, a straight line depreciation method may not be suitable for an asset such as a computer. It would be inaccurate to assume a computer would incur the same depreciation expense over its entire useful life. The truth is that straight line depreciation is useful almost exclusively in teaching the concept of depreciation because it is almost never used in the real world. Congress just can’t stay out of accounting that would make it too easy.

Examples of expenses would be items such as office supplies and monthly costs like rent and utilities. This accounting tutorial teaches the popular Straight-line method of depreciation. We define the method, show how to depreciate an asset using the Straight-line method, and also show the accounting transactions involved when depreciating.

Other Methods Of Calculating Depreciation

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. As you can see from the amortization table, this continues until the end of Year 10, at which point the total asset and liability balances are $0. Further, the full value of the asset resides in the accumulated depreciation account as a credit. Combining the total asset and accumulated depreciation amounts equals a net book value of $0. A strong form finance lease is one that has a transfer of ownership, a bargain purchase option , or a purchase option the lessee is reasonably certain to exercise. With a strong form lease, the asset is depreciated over the useful life of the asset as it is assumed the lessee will own the asset at the end of the lease term.

Costs to bringing the asset to the location and condition and these costs should also be capitalized. First, we need to find book value or the initial capitalization costs of assets. In the graph below, I put the value of the company car on the vertical axis. Estimate the useful life of the company car — Let’s say you bought a gently used Toyota Camry. Calculate the salvage value of the company car — The salvage value at the end of the company car’s useful life will be $5,000. The depreciation charge on the vehicle will be $2900 every year for 10 years.

You would also credit a special kind of asset account called an accumulated depreciation account. These accounts have credit balance (when an asset has a credit balance, it’s like it has a ‘negative’ balance) meaning that they decrease the value of your assets as they increase. Straight line is the most straightforward and easiest method for calculating depreciation.

The management will sell the asset, and if it is sold above the salvage value, a profit will be booked in the income statement or else a loss if sold below the salvage value. The amount earned after selling the asset will be shown as the cash inflow in the cash flow statement, and the same will be entered in the cash and cash equivalents line of the balance sheet. 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, so is the value of the asset on the balance sheet. The carrying amount of the asset on the balance sheet reduces by the same amount. This method is useful for assets that depreciate quickly after purchase, like computers, which lose their value very quickly, even though they might operate well for a long time.

Straight-line depreciation is often the easiest and most straightforward way of calculating depreciation, which means it’ll result in fewer errors. The straight-line method of depreciation isn’t the only way businesses can calculate the value of their depreciable assets. While the straight-line method is the easiest to use, sometimes companies may need a more accurate method. Below are a few other methods one can use to calculate depreciation. Carrying ValueCarrying value is the book value of assets in a company’s balance sheet, computed as the original cost less accumulated depreciation/impairments.

If it can later be resold, the asset’s salvage value is first subtracted from its cost to determine the depreciable cost – the cost to use for depreciation purposes. If your company uses a piece of equipment, you should see more depreciation when you use the machinery to produce more units of a commodity. If production declines, this method lowers the depreciation expenses from one year to the next. To help you calculate the loss of value of a business asset, we’ve created this guide to help you understand and calculate straight-line depreciation. Read through to learn more about the straight-line method of depreciation, or use the links below to jump to a section of your choice. Since the asset is uniformly depreciated, it does not cause the variation in the Profit or loss due to depreciation expenses.

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 and then depreciating the asset at twice the percentage rate. 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.

This means Sara will depreciate her copier at a rate of 20% per year. The easiest way to determine the useful life of an asset is to refer to the IRS tables, which are straight line depreciation found in Publication 946, referenced above. If you don’t expect the asset to be worth much at the end of its useful life, be sure to figure that into the calculation.

Video Explanation Of How Depreciation Works

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. Sally estimates the furniture will be worth around $1,500 at the end of its useful life, which, according to the chart above, is seven years. The final cost of the tractor, including tax and delivery, is $25,000, and the expected salvage value is $6,000.

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. Regardless of the depreciation method used, the total depreciation expense recognized over the life of any asset will be equal. However, the rate at which the depreciation is recognized over the life of the asset is dictated by the depreciation method chosen. Whether you’re creating a balance sheet to see how your business stands or an income statement to see whether it’s turning a profit, you need to calculate depreciation. 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.

Every asset you acquire has a set value at the time of purchase, but that value changes over time. As a business owner, it’s important to know how to accurately report the value of your assets each year, and one of the best methods for doing so is called straight-line depreciation. For example, let’s say that you buy new computers for your business at an initial cost of $12,000, and you depreciate their value at 25% per year. If we estimate the salvage value at $3,000, this is a total depreciable cost of $10,000. Check out our guide to Form 4562 for more information on calculating depreciation and amortization for tax purposes. Sum-of-the-years’ digits is an accelerated method for calculating an asset’s depreciation.

Crash Course In Accounting And Financial Statement Analysis, Second Edition By Matan Feldman, Arkady Libman

The value we get after following the above straight-line method of depreciation steps is the depreciation expense, which is deducted on income statement every year until the useful life of the asset. A business owner might use straight-line depreciation to find the annual depreciation expense of a piece of office equipment. The business owner can then deduct a set amount from the business’ taxes each year. Straight-line depreciation can be used to find the annual depreciation expense of an item, such as an air conditioner, that is purchased for a rental house. The owner of the house can deduct a set amount of the cost of the air conditioner each year on his or her taxes. One method is straight-line depreciation, where the monetary loss of value of a particular item is calculated over a specific period of time.

straight line depreciation

The carrying value would be $200 on the balance sheet at the end of three years. The depreciation expense would be completed under the straight line depreciation method, and management would retire the asset. The sale price would find its way back to cash and cash equivalents. Any gain or loss above or below the estimated salvage value would be recorded, and there would no longer be any carrying value under the fixed asset line of the balance sheet.

A Plain English Guide To The Straight Line Depreciation Method

Alternatives Looking for a different set of features or lower price point? Check out these alternative options for popular software solutions. Accounting Accounting software helps manage payable and receivable accounts, general ledgers, payroll and other accounting activities. Subtract the estimated salvage value of the asset from the amount at which it is recorded on the books.

  • However, you can apply other methods to relevant assets and situations.
  • And to calculate the annual depreciation rate, we need to divide one by the number of useful life.
  • Depreciation is recorded on the income and balance statements and it’s a key component in understanding your business’ profitability.
  • The depreciation charge on the vehicle will be $2900 every year for 10 years.
  • While the upfront cost of these items can be shocking, calculating depreciation can actually save you money, thanks to IRS tax guidelines.

The straight-line depreciation method is the simplest method for calculating an asset’s loss of value or in other words depreciation over a period of time. This method is helpful in bookkeeping as it helps in spreading the cost of an asset evenly over the useful life of the asset. This method is also useful in calculating the income tax deductions, but only for some assets such as patents and software. That deferred tax asset will be reduced over time until the reported income under GAAP and the reported income to the IRS align at the end of the straight line depreciation schedule. Under the straight-line method of depreciation, the cost of a fixed asset is spread evenly for each year that it is useful, functional and profitable. As such, the depreciation expense recorded on an income statement is the same each year. The value of your car is going down and so if you’re moving value one place you have to have it balanced in another place.

Because it’s the easiest depreciation method to calculate, straight line depreciation tends to result in the fewest number of accounting errors. It’s best applied when there’s no apparent pattern to how an asset will be used over time. Office furniture, for example, is an appropriate asset for straight line depreciation. The straight line depreciation formula will give you the same tax deduction for an asset, year after year. This works differently than other depreciation methods that provide differing tax deductions each year. While the straight-line depreciation method is typically used, other methods of depreciation are acceptable for businesses to use under US GAAP to calculate depreciation expense.

The business can continue to use the asset if it’s still functional, and no longer has to report an expense. It is easiest to use a standard useful life for each class of assets. GAAP is a collection of accounting standards that set rules for how financial statements are prepared. It’s based on long-standing conventions, objectives and concepts addressing recognition, presentation, disclosure, and measurement of information.

How Does Proration Affect Asset Depreciation?

However, the straight line method does not accurately reflect the difference in usage of an asset and may not be the most appropriate value calculation method for some depreciable assets. The most common types of depreciation methods include straight-line, double declining balance, units of production, and sum of years digits.

Now, $ 1000 will be charged to the income statement as a depreciation expense for 8 continuous years. Although, all the amount is paid for the machine at the time of purchase, however, the expense is charged over a period of time. Depreciation expense is the recognition of the reduction of value of an asset over its useful life. Multiple methods of accounting for depreciation expense exist, but the straight-line method is the most commonly used.