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## Double Declining Balance: A Simple Depreciation Guide

The straight-line rate of 10% is doubled to 20% under the double-declining balance method. Instead of multiplying the fixture’s original cost by 20%, the 20% is multiplied by the fixture’s book value at the beginning of the year. The double declining balance (DDB) depreciation method is an approach to accounting that involves depreciating certain assets at twice the rate outlined under straight-line depreciation. This results in depreciation being the highest in the first year of ownership and declining over time.

Certain fixed assets are most useful during their initial years and then wane in productivity over time, so the asset’s utility is consumed at a more rapid rate during the earlier phases of its useful life. Double declining depreciation is helpful for businesses that want to recognize double declining balance method expenses upfront to save taxes. It also matches revenues to expenses in that assets usually perform more poorly over time, so more expenses are recognized when the performance and income is higher. How do you calculate the double-declining balance method of depreciation?

## Using the 200% Double Declining Balance Depreciation Method

So, the depreciation expense is calculated in the last year by deducting the salvage value from the opening book value. To get a better grasp of double declining balance, spend a little time experimenting with this double declining balance calculator. It’s a good way to see the formula in action—and understand what kind of impact double declining depreciation might have on your finances. (You https://www.bookstime.com/ 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. To calculate the depreciation expense for the first year, we need to apply the rate of depreciation (50%) to the cost of the asset (\$2000) and multiply the answer with the time factor (3/12).

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While some accounting software applications have fixed asset and depreciation management capability, you’ll likely have to manually record a depreciation journal entry into your software application. However, note that eventually, we must switch from using the double declining method of depreciation in order for the salvage value assumption to be met. Since we’re multiplying by a fixed rate, there will continuously be some residual value left over, irrespective of how much time passes. With our straight-line depreciation rate calculated, our next step is to simply multiply that straight-line depreciation rate by 2x to determine the double declining depreciation rate. Also, in some cases, certain assets are more valuable or usable during the initial year of their lives.

## Sum of Years’ Digits Depreciation

But you can reduce that tax obligation by writing off more of the asset early on. As years go by and you deduct less of the asset’s value, you’ll also be making less income from the asset—so the two balance out. 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. If you’re brand new to the concept, open another tab and check out our complete guide to depreciation. Then come back here—you’ll have the background knowledge you need to learn about double declining balance.

Although some accounting software applications can manage fixed assets and depreciation, you will likely have to manually enter a depreciation journal entry into your software application. By reducing the value of that asset on the company’s books, a business is able to claim tax deductions each year for the presumed lost value of the asset over that year. If you’ve ever wondered why your shiny new car takes a huge value hit the first few years you own it, you’re not alone.

## What is the Double Declining Balance Method?

You calculate it based on the difference between your cost basis in the asset—purchase price plus extras like sales tax, shipping and handling charges, and installation costs—and its salvage value. The salvage value is what you expect to receive when you dispose of the asset at the end of its useful life. (For example, an apple tree that produces fewer and fewer apples as time goes on.) Taxes must be paid on those earnings. However, if you write off more of the asset early on, you can reduce your tax obligation. Over time, you will deduct less of the asset’s value, so you will also receive less income from the asset-so the two balance out.

This approach is reasonable when the utility of an asset is being consumed at a more rapid rate during the early part of its useful life. It is also useful when the intent is to recognize more expense now, thereby shifting profit recognition further into the future (which may be of use for deferring income taxes). If, for example, an asset is purchased on 1 December and the financial statements are prepared on 31 December, the depreciation expense should only be charged for one month. Another thing to remember while calculating the depreciation expense for the first year is the time factor.