double declining balance method

In most depreciation methods, an asset’s estimated useful life is expressed in years. However, in the units-of-activity method (and in the similar units-of-production method), an asset’s estimated useful life is expressed in units of output. In the units-of-activity method, the accounting period’s depreciation expense is not a function of the passage of time. Instead, each accounting period’s depreciation expense is based on the asset’s usage during the accounting period. Double declining balance depreciation is an accelerated depreciation method that charges twice the rate of straight-line deprecation on the asset’s carrying value at the start of each accounting period. Let’s assume that a retailer purchases fixtures on January 1 at a cost of $100,000.

However, when it comes to taxable income and the related income tax payments, it is a different story. In the U.S. companies are permitted to use straight-line depreciation on their income statements while using accelerated depreciation on their income tax returns. You can find more information on depreciation for income tax reporting at The amount of final year depreciation will equal the difference between the book value of the laptop at the start of the accounting period ($218.75) and the asset’s salvage value ($200).

What is the double declining depreciation rate?

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. Depreciation rates used in the declining balance method could be 150%, 200% (double), 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. An asset for a business cost $1,750,000, will have a life of 10 years and the salvage value at the end of 10 years will be $10,000.

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. However, if the company later goes on to sell that asset for more than its value on the company’s books, it must pay taxes on the difference as a capital gain. DDB depreciation is less advantageous when a business owner wants to spread out the tax benefits of depreciation over the useful life of a product. This is preferable for businesses that may not be profitable yet and therefore may not be able to capitalize on greater depreciation write-offs, or businesses that turn equipment over quickly. Suppose a company purchased a fixed asset (PP&E) at a cost of $20 million.

It’s possible! Subscribe below & we’ll send you our Bookkeeping Packet. A pack of resources to teach you about bookkeeping.

They also report higher depreciation in earlier years and lower depreciation in later years. The calculations accurately show how the asset’s carrying value decreases each year while the double declining balance method depreciation expense is based on a fixed percentage of the remaining carrying value. This is a typical representation of how the double declining balance depreciation method works.

So, if an asset cost $1,000, you might write off $100 every year for 10 years. As you can see, both methods end up with the same total accumulated depreciation. The only difference between a straight-line depreciation and a double declining depreciation is the rate at which the depreciation happens. The straight-line method remains constant throughout the useful life of the asset, while the double declining method is highest on the early years and lower in the latter years. The declining balance method, also known as the reducing balance method, is ideal for assets that quickly lose their values or inevitably become obsolete. 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.

Double Declining Balance Method Example

The Double-Declining Balance method is a form of accelerated depreciation. In this approach, the asset is depreciated at double the rate as compared to straight-line depreciation. The biggest thing to be aware of when calculating the double declining balance method is to stop depreciating the asset when you arrive at the salvage value.

  • The next step is to calculate the straight-line depreciation expense, which is equal to the difference between the PP&E purchase price and salvage value (i.e. the depreciable base) divided by the useful life assumption.
  • After the first year, we apply the depreciation rate to the carrying value (cost minus accumulated depreciation) of the asset at the start of the period.
  • Here’s the depreciation schedule for calculating the double-declining depreciation expense and the asset’s net book value for each accounting period.
  • The Double Declining Balance Depreciation method is best suited for situations where assets are used intensively in their early years and/or when assets tend to become obsolete relatively quickly.