Tax Benefits of Using Different Depreciation Methods
In accounting terms depreciation is the distribution of an assets cost over its useful life. In other words when a firm purchases an asset it has to make the decision if the asset will economically benefit the organization for more than a year. If the answer is yes than the firm would add this asset as a non current asset on its balance sheet, and would commence depreciating this asset over its useful life. In depreciating the asset the firm is subtracting the value (or the original cost) of the asset that was originally booked when the asset was purchased (under the non current asset section of the firm’s balance sheet) and is then expensing (the calculated accounting period depreciation amount) from the firms revenues earned in the same accounting period. The firm is in essence matching the cost (or value in terms of assets) against the revenues earned by the asset use. Many methods exist to calculate depreciation but I am going to focus on two of the more popular methods: Straight Line and Double Declining Balance.
In the straight line depreciation method the total cost of the depreciable asset is subtracted from the salvage value of the asset. This number is then divided by the useful life of an asset (in years) to determine the amount will be depreciated from this asset each year. An example of this would be if a firm where to purchase a piece of equipment that cost $5,000 and the salvage value of the asset is calculated at $500 ; the amount to be depreciated would be $4,500 ($5,000-$500=$4,500). The useful life of this piece of equipment for this example is 4 years. Using this data we would calculate the yearly depreciation of this asset to be $1,125 (which would represent a depreciation percentage of 25% per year).
Double Declining Balance:
Under double declining balance depreciation an asset is depreciated using the yearly percentage that would be...