Advantages & Disadvantages of Accelerated Depreciation Chron com

accelerated depreciation method

By writing off more assets against revenue, companies report lower income and thus pay less tax. The depreciation method used to depreciate a car calculates an expense that reduces income. Sum-of-years’ digits is a depreciation method that results in a more accelerated depreciation method accelerated write-off than straight line, but less than the declining-balance method. Generally speaking, any tangible asset that is used in business operations and has a finite life or expected useful life may be eligible for accelerated depreciation.

Which method allows the most accelerated depreciation?

The MACRS depreciation method allows greater accelerated depreciation over the life of the asset. This means that the business can take larger tax deductions in the initial years and deduct less in later years of the asset's life.

Failing to address depreciation schedules at all, however, will make corporate tax reform quite difficult to achieve. Accelerated depreciation is used by most businesses, but because it sets out different schedules for different types of assets, the effective tax rates on investment varies widely. A 2011 study by CRS economist Jane Gravelle found that effective tax rates due to accelerated depreciation vary widely on different types of assets, as shown in the table below. Accelerated depreciation provides much more tax benefit to investments in equipment, which benefit from effective tax rates between 4 and 15 percent lower. The effective tax rate on buildings, on the other hand, generally drops by 4 percent or less. The basic depreciation calculation assumes that the equipment is used steadily throughout its useful life.


Accelerated depreciation is a method of depreciation in which larger depreciation deductions are taken in the early years of an asset’s life, and smaller deductions are taken in later years. The benefits of accelerated depreciation are that you can decrease your taxable income and you can also increase your net cash flow. Accelerated depreciation benefits real estate investors who have high initial costs and low residual value because the amount being depreciated is higher during the first few years of owning a property. A variation on this method is the 150% declining balance method, which substitutes 1.5 for the 2.0 figure used in the calculation. The 150% method does not result in as rapid a rate of depreciation at the double declining method, and so is used less frequently.

accelerated depreciation method

To compute the double-declining balance depreciation, first, the depreciation percentage is computed which is one divided by the total life span years. Declining Balance Method Of DepreciationIn declining balance method of depreciation or reducing balance method, assets are depreciated at a higher rate in the initial years than in the subsequent years. A constant depreciation rate is applied to an asset’s book value each year, heading towards accelerated depreciation. Companies often use rapid depreciation methods to reduce taxes in the early years of an asset’s life. It’s important to note that total tax deductions over the life of an asset will be the same no matter what method is used.

Example of Accelerated Depreciation

Small firms and assets with a lesser value are good candidates for the straight-line depreciation method. The Purchase Price accounts for all of the expenses incurred throughout the process of purchasing and installing the asset, including those pertaining to labor, transportation, and taxes. Growing companies may face difficulties as a result of their reduced future deduction.

accelerated depreciation method

First, it allows businesses to write off the cost of new assets more quickly, which can improve cash flow. Second, it can incentivize businesses to invest in new capital equipment and machinery, which can boost productivity. The sum-of-the-years’-digits method is a depreciation method that uses a declining rate of depreciation. The declining balance method is a depreciation method that uses a constant rate of depreciation. There are several differences between accelerated and straight-line depreciation. Second, accelerated depreciation is more complicated to calculate than straight-line depreciation.


According to our Corporate Tax Reform Calculator, if the deduction were repealed, the revenue from C-corporations could finance a corporate rate cut of 4.3 percentage points over ten years. If the deduction were also repealed for pass-throughs, the rate could decrease 6.2 percentage points. If the pass-through revenue were instead used to reduce individual tax rates, the Tax Foundation estimates it could pay for a 0.7 percent cut (the 39.6 percent rate would fall to 39.3 percent). The simplest and most commonly used method of depreciation is the straight line method or straight line accelerated depreciation method.

Although there are strong arguments that it plays a helpful role in spurring investment, it can distort business decision-making and is extremely expensive. In fact, retaining this break would make it close to impossible to bring the corporate rate below 30 percent from corporate tax expenditure reform alone without losing revenue. If policymakers are unwilling to repeal accelerated depreciation entirely, there are a number of options to reduce its costs. In all cases policymakers must remain aware of the long-term fiscal implications and how they differ from those in the first decade.

Corporate tax reformers have another reason for targeting accelerated depreciation, independent of its merits. Without accelerated depreciation, it is virtually impossible to reduce the corporate tax rate below 30 percent in a revenue neutral way through eliminating corporate tax expenditures alone. Several standard methods of computing depreciation expense may be used, including fixed percentage, straight line, and declining balance methods. Some of the most common methods used to calculate depreciation are straight-line, units-of-production, sum-of-years digits, and double-declining balance, an accelerated depreciation method.

  • Compare with straight-line depreciation method, where the asset’s value is depreciated proportionally throughout its useful life.
  • Secondly, the calculation of accelerated depreciation is more difficult than that of a straight line.
  • Although there are strong arguments that it plays a helpful role in spurring investment, it can distort business decision-making and is extremely expensive.
  • It’s available for other categories of new property and some used property.

Under this method, the annual depreciation expense is found by multiplying book value of the asset each year by a fixed rate. Depreciation expense affects the values of businesses and entities because the accumulated depreciation disclosed for each asset will reduce its book value on the balance sheet. The benefits of not using accelerated depreciation for real estate investors are that the value of the asset will be lower over its useful life, which means a lower purchase price. This method benefits real estate investors because it spreads the total cost of an asset over a longer period, which benefits those who have a limited cash flow. Though this accelerated depreciation method has certain financial regulatory implications, it gives the firm advantages.

Why would you use accelerated depreciation?

There are a few reasons why accelerated depreciation is good. First, it allows businesses to write off the cost of new assets more quickly, which can improve cash flow. Second, it can incentivize businesses to invest in new capital equipment and machinery, which can boost productivity.

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