Double declining balance method: A depreciation guide

Firms depreciate assets on their financial statements and for tax purposes in order to better match an asset’s productivity in use to its costs of operation over time. Some systems specify lives based on classes of property defined by the tax authority. Canada Revenue Agency specifies numerous classes based on the type of property and how it is used.

  • DDB depreciates the asset value at twice the rate of straight line depreciation.
  • It has a salvage value of $1000 at the end of its useful life of 5 years.
  • The double-declining method of depreciation accounting is one of the most useful and interesting concepts nowadays.
  • Canada Revenue Agency specifies numerous classes based on the type of property and how it is used.

This makes it ideal for assets that typically lose the most value during the first years of ownership. And, unlike some other methods of depreciation, it’s not terribly difficult to implement. Double-declining depreciation charges lesser depreciation in the later years of an asset’s life. Therefore, it is more suited to depreciating assets with a higher degree of wear and tear, usage, or loss of value earlier in their lives. Assume that you’ve purchased a $100,000 asset that will be worth $10,000 at the end of its useful life.

This is classically true with computer equipment, cell phones, and other high-tech items, which are generally useful earlier on but become less so as newer models are brought to market. An accelerated method of depreciation ultimately factors in the phase-out of these assets. If you compare double declining balance to straight-line depreciation, the double-declining balance method allows you a larger depreciation expense in the earlier years. Take the example above, using the double-declining balance method calculates $10,000 and $6,000 in depreciation expense in years one and two. This is greater than the $4,600 in depreciation expense annually under straight-line depreciation. Depreciation calculations require a lot of record-keeping if done for each asset a business owns, especially if assets are added to after they are acquired, or partially disposed of.

See the screenshot below for the formulas used in the spreadsheet and the results of the MACRS half-year depreciation calculations. You can drag this formula down to period five without making any changes as long as you use absolute references. ‘Inc.’ in a company name means the business is incorporated, journal entries in accounting but what does that entail, exactly? aims to provide the best accounting and finance education for students, professionals, teachers, and business owners. For the second year of depreciation, you’ll be plugging a book value of $18,000 into the formula, rather than one of $30,000.

Double Declining Balance Method Formula (DDB)

If the vehicle were to be sold and the sales price exceeded the depreciated value (net book value) then the excess would be considered a gain and subject to depreciation recapture. In addition, this gain above the depreciated value would be recognized as ordinary income by the tax office. If the sales price is ever less than the book value, the resulting capital loss is tax-deductible. If the sale price were ever more than the original book value, then the gain above the original book value is recognized as a capital gain.

  • Many systems allow an additional deduction for a portion of the cost of depreciable assets acquired in the current tax year.
  • The DDB depreciation method is best applied to assets that quickly lose value in the first few years of ownership.
  • In particular, companies that are publicly traded understand that investors in the market could perceive lower profitability negatively.
  • You calculate 200% of the straight-line depreciation, or a factor of 2, and multiply that value by the book value at the beginning of the period to find the depreciation expense for that period.
  • Double declining balance is sometimes also called the accelerated depreciation method.
  • However, companies should take the utmost care while calculating depreciation expenses through this method, as inaccurate calculations would lead to incorrect charging of depreciation expenses throughout the asset’s life.

Because of this, it more accurately reflects the true value of an asset that loses value quickly. When you drive a brand new vehicle off the lot at the dealership, its value decreases considerably in the first few years. Toward the end of its useful life, the vehicle loses a smaller percentage of its value every year. An exception to this rule is when an asset is disposed before its final year of its useful life, i.e. in one of its middle years. In that case, we will charge depreciation only for the time the asset was still in use (partial year). Like in the first year calculation, we will use a time factor for the number of months the asset was in use but multiply it by its carrying value at the start of the period instead of its cost.

What is the double declining depreciation rate?

The declining balance technique represents the opposite of the straight-line depreciation method, which is more suitable for assets whose book value drops at a steady rate throughout their useful lives. This method simply subtracts the salvage value from the cost of the asset, which is then divided by the useful life of the asset. So, if a company shells out $15,000 for a truck with a $5,000 salvage value and a useful life of five years, the annual straight-line depreciation expense equals $2,000 ($15,000 minus $5,000 divided by five). The two most common accelerated depreciation methods are double-declining balance and the sum of the years’ digits.

When to use the DDB depreciation method

Since the assets will be used throughout the year, there is no need to reduce the depreciation expense, which is why we use a time factor of 1 in the depreciation schedule (see example below). Accelerated depreciation techniques charge a higher amount of depreciation in the earlier years of an asset’s life. One way of accelerating the depreciation expense is the double decline depreciation method. To get a better grasp of double declining balance, spend a little time experimenting with this double declining balance calculator.

Depreciation Base of Assets

Let’s examine the steps that need to be taken to calculate this form of accelerated depreciation. The prior statement tends to be true for most fixed assets due to normal “wear and tear” from any consistent, constant usage. But before we delve further into the concept of accelerated depreciation, we’ll review some basic accounting terminology.

Net income will be lower for many years, but because book value ends up being lower than market value, this ultimately leads to a bigger gain when the asset is sold. If this asset is still valuable, its sale could portray a misleading picture of the company’s underlying health. Depreciation is thus the decrease in the value of assets and the method used to reallocate, or “write down” the cost of a tangible asset (such as equipment) over its useful life span. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both accounting and tax purposes.

We can understand how the depreciation expense is calculated yearly under the double-declining method from the schedule below. For example, last year, the actual depreciation expense, as per the depreciation rate, should have been $13,422 but kept at $12,108.86 to keep the asset at its estimated salvage value. So, the depreciation expense is calculated in the last year by deducting the salvage value from the opening book value.

The drawbacks of double declining depreciation

This method takes most of the depreciation charges upfront, in the early years, lowering profits on the income statement sooner rather than later. Recovery period, or the useful life of the asset, is the period over which you’re depreciating it, in years. Mary Girsch-Bock is the expert on accounting software and payroll software for The Ascent. The total expense over the life of the asset will be the same under both approaches.