Straight-Line Depreciation Formula + Calculator

straight line depreciation

Sara runs a small nonprofit that recently purchased a copier for the office. It cost $150 to ship the copier, and the taxes were $600, making the final cost of the copier $8,250. Calculating is a five-step process, with a sixth step added if you’re expensing depreciation monthly. If a business purchases a new car, they would expect the car to have a resale value at the end of its useful life for the business.

The depreciation method that results in the same equal amount of depreciation expense for each full year over the life of the asset. See Explanation of Depreciation for an illustration and further discussion of depreciation. The useful life of an asset is determined based on various factors, including industry standards, technological advancements, expected wear and tear, and potential obsolescence. It represents the estimated time span during which the asset will be in service before it becomes obsolete, outdated, or no longer useful to the business.

Why Would You Not Choose This Method?

This method is straightforward and easy to understand, making it the most commonly used depreciation method across various industries. 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. Calculating the depreciating value of an asset over time can be tedious. Many accountants, though, tend to use a simple, easy-to-use method called the straight line basis.

  • The straight-line depreciation method is important because you can use the formula to determine how much value an asset loses over time.
  • In straight-line depreciation, the assets are depreciated at an equal value every year for their expected life.
  • This will also be recorded as accumulated depreciation on the balance sheet.
  • This approach calculates depreciation as a percentage and then depreciates the asset at twice the percentage rate.

The straight-line method is advised also because it presents calculation most simply. It has a straightforward formula and an approach that reduces the occurrences of errors. All these factors make it a highly recommended method for calculating depreciation.

Why Would You Choose This Method?

Then the enterprise is likely to depreciate it under the depreciation expense of $2000 every year over the 5 years of its use. This will also be recorded as accumulated depreciation on the balance sheet. 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. Depreciation means reducing the value of an asset for business and tax purposes.

Now that you know the difference between the depreciation models, let’s see the straight-line depreciation method being used in real-world situations. You can calculate the asset’s life span by determining the number of years it will remain useful. It’s possible to find this information on the product’s packaging, website or by speaking to a brand representative. Straight-line depreciation is often the easiest and most straightforward way of calculating depreciation, which means it can potentially result in fewer errors. If the use of an asset will vary greatly from year to year, the units-of-production method may be appropriate.

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Let’s say you own a tree removal service, and you buy a brand-new commercial wood chipper for $15,000 (purchase price). Your tree removal business is such a success that your wood chipper will last for only five years before you need to replace it (useful life). Some assets are more suited to other methods of calculating depreciation, especially if you want to take a large write-off early on. Calculating the useful life and salvage value of an asset is an inexact science. This method doesn’t include the accelerated loss of value of assets such as computers. It’s possible to use different methods of depreciation for different assets, but the same method must be consistently applied for the life of an asset.






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