# The Double Declining Balance Depreciation Method

In using the declining balance method, a company reports larger depreciation expenses during the earlier years of an asset’s useful life. Depreciation rates used in the declining balance method could be 150%, 200% , or 250% of the straight-line rate. When the depreciation rate for the declining balance method is set as a multiple, doubling the straight-line rate, the declining balance method is effectively the double declining balance method. Over the depreciation process, the double depreciation rate remains constant and is applied to the reducing book value each depreciation period. The book value, or depreciation base, of an asset, declines over time. It is important because it provides a more accurate rate of depreciation than other methods. It takes into consideration the time value of money to determine the cost of the asset over its useful life.

Book value refers to the value of the asset at the beginning of the accounting period for which you want to calculate the depreciation expense. First, the IRS does not permit the use of double declining balance depreciation for tax purposes, but it does allow MACRS, which is similar to DDB. However, using the double declining depreciation method, your depreciation would be double that of straight line depreciation. Begin with the depreciable base, and then calculate the depreciation expense for the period. Subtract that depreciation expense from the depreciable base to get the depreciable base for the next period. If the final depreciation expense would bring the asset value below salvage value, then simply subtract salvage value from that period’s depreciable base to get the final depreciation expense.

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Let’s assume that a retailer purchases fixtures on January 1 at a cost of \$100,000. It is expected that the fixtures will have no salvage value at the end of their useful life of 10 years. Under the straight-line method, the 10-year life means the asset’s annual depreciation will be 10% of the asset’s cost.

You get more money back in tax write-offs early on, which can help offset the cost of buying an asset. If you’ve taken out a loan or a line of credit, that could mean paying off a larger chunk of the debt earlier—reducing the amount you pay interest on for each period. In later years, as maintenance becomes more regular, you’ll be writing off less of the value of the asset—while writing off more in the form of maintenance. So your annual write-offs are more stable over time, which makes income easier to predict. Once the asset is valued on the company’s books at its salvage value, it is considered fully depreciated and cannot be depreciated any further.

## Switching Depreciation Methods During An Asset’s Lifespan

However, the 20% will be multiplied with the book value of the asset at the beginning of the period, not by the original cost of the fixtures. In year 4, our asset has a depreciable cost of \$2,160 and 2 remaining years of useful life. As we switch to Straight-line, the depreciation for the next two years is \$2,160 ÷ 2, or \$1,080. The best way to explain the double-declining method of depreciation is to look at some simple examples. Through them we’ll see what accounts and journal entries are required, and how to switch depreciation method in the middle of an asset’s life in order to fully depreciate the asset. We’ll also discuss how depreciation affects the Balance Sheet, and more. If new to the concept of depreciation, we recommend reading Depreciation Basics and Straight-line Depreciation.

• Here, double means 200% of the straight-line depreciation rate.
• This is to ensure that the asset’s net book value at the end of its useful life will always be equal to its salvage value.
• Whether you use the straight-line method or double declining method, the total depreciation expense related to an asset will still be the same.
• In year 1, we use the full depreciable cost of \$10,000, multiply this by .4, for a depreciation amount of \$4,000.
• This method is thought to better reflect the asset’s true market value as it ages.

He previously worked as a financial advisor and registered investment advisor, as well as served on the FINRA Small Firm Advisory Board. In year 5, however, the balance would shift and the accelerated approach would have only \$55,520 of depreciation, while the non-accelerated approach would have a higher number. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate.

Double declining depreciation, explained as one of the most common methods to depreciate tools, is everywhere. The idea is that the asset’s value declines more steeply in the early years of usage. The result is that the depreciation expenses are larger in beginning and then get smaller over time. It helps the company in reducing tax liability by charging higher depreciation expenses in the initial years of the asset’s useful life. The result is your basic depreciation rate, expressed as a decimal. (You can multiply it by 100 to see it as a percentage.) This is also called the straight line depreciation rate—the percentage of an asset you depreciate each year if you use the straight line method.

## Calculate The Depreciation Expense

So, the depreciation expense is calculated in the last year by deducting the salvage value from the opening book value. Every year you write off part of a depreciable asset using double declining balance, you subtract the amount you wrote off from the asset’s book value on your balance sheet. Starting off, your book value will be the cost of the asset—what you paid for the asset. On the whole, DDB is not a generally easy depreciation method to implement. This method requires taking the useful life of an asset and adding up the number of each year (e.g., 5+4+3+2+1 for a five-year useful life). Each year, you divide the number of years left to depreciate the asset by the year-value total.

As mentioned earlier, this approach is particularly useful for property whose value will decrease rapidly after you acquire it. Businesses have multiple methods at their disposal to account for depreciation. One option is the double declining balance depreciation method. Here’s a closer look at how this method is calculated and when it should be used. The double-declining balance depreciation method and Sum of the years digits method are forms of accelerated depreciation. Accelerated depreciation is when assets lose more value in the earlier years than in later years.

Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com. Use the formula above to determine your depreciation for the first year. These are provided by the IRS and vary by value and type of asset.

## When To Use The Double Declining Balance Depreciation Method

The straight-line depreciation percentage is, therefore, 20%—one-fifth of the difference between the purchase price and the salvage value of the vehicle each year. The book value of fixtures at the beginning of the 2nd year is \$160000, which is the cost of fixtures minus the accumulated depreciation of \$40000 of year 1. Now multiply the \$ with 20% the result is \$32000, which is the depreciation for the second year. Perhaps you noticed above that the asset did not fully depreciate. The mathematics of Double-declining depreciation will never depreciate an asset down to zero.

Companies generally use a declining balance method or a straight-line method to calculate the value of depreciation of an asset. The double-declining approach has gained much popularity recently and is also known as the accelerated depreciation method or the reducing balance method. In this tutorial we discuss the most popular accelerated method called Double-declining balance. In Straight-line depreciation, the depreciable cost remains the same each year, and the same percentage of the cost is depreciated each year.

## Determine The Useful Or Functional Life Of The Asset

You will have to learn about the intricacies and functioning of these key divisions that will drive your company’s growth. The following formulas will be used in calculating N, the sum of the SYD digits. As a business owner, you have many options for paying yourself, but each comes with tax implications. Now multiply \$81920 by 20%; the result of \$16384 is the depreciation for the 5th year. The double-declining method is more complicated than the straight-line method.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein. Next year when you do your calculations, the book value of the ice cream truck will be \$18,000.

Download thisaccounting examplein excel to help calculate your own Double Declining Depreciation problems. After a five year recovery period, you’ve completely written it off. Doing some market research, you find you can sell your five year old ice cream truck for about \$12,000—that’s the salvage value. For the second year of depreciation, https://www.bookstime.com/ you’ll be plugging a book value of \$18,000 into the formula, rather than one of \$30,000. Recovery period, or the useful life of the asset, is the period over which you’re depreciating it, in years. Dock David Treece is a contributor who has written extensively about business finance, including SBA loans and alternative lending.

Some companies use accelerated depreciation methods to defer their tax obligations into future years. Double declining balance depreciation is one Double Declining Balance Method of these methods. It was first enacted and authorized under the Internal Revenue Code in 1954, and it was a major change from existing policy.

Accounting Accounting software helps manage payable and receivable accounts, general ledgers, payroll and other accounting activities. Business Checking Accounts BlueVine Business Checking The BlueVine Business Checking account is an innovative small business bank account that could be a great choice for today’s small businesses. This is to ensure that the asset’s net book value at the end of its useful life will always be equal to its salvage value. The PAC company estimates that it has a useful life of 8 years and will have a salvage value of \$2,500 by then. Besides, doing so contradicts the matching principle in which expenses should be recognized at the same time as the revenue they are related to.

In this case the straight-line rate would be 100 percent divided by the asset useful life or 10 percent. Also, in some cases, certain assets are more valuable or usable during the initial year of their lives. The importance of the double-declining method of depreciation can be explained through the following scenarios. Sometimes, when the company is looking to defer the tax liabilities and reduce profitability in the initial years of the asset’s useful life, it is the best option for charging depreciation. We can understand how the depreciation expense is calculated each year under the double-declining method from the below schedule. 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.