Double Decreasing Balance Method Formula

The double declining balance method is a form of accelerated depreciation. It is commonly used to depreciate fixed assets more heavily in the early years.

This technique involves calculating the depreciation rate at twice the straight-line method percentage multiplied by the beginning book value each period. The depreciation expense is then added to the accumulated depreciation account.

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The double declining balance method is an accelerated depreciation technique that counts depreciation expenses faster during the early years of the asset’s life. It is particularly useful for assets that will lose value rapidly, such as new automobiles and computer servers.

The cost of using the double declining balance method is higher than using straight-line depreciation, and it may require more calculations to compute. However, it can allow businesses to reduce their income taxes early by writing off a larger amount of the fixed asset’s total depreciation in the first few years.

Companies that use the double declining balance method report a higher depreciation charge in the early years of an asset’s life, which matches the asset’s ability to perform at its optimum efficiency, and a lower charge in later years, which reflects higher maintenance costs. The expense is calculated by multiplying the starting book value of the asset by twice its annual depreciation rate, and it is then added to accumulated depreciation.

A business may also choose to utilize this method to depreciate a fixed asset more heavily in the early years, which can help it reduce its profit before tax time. It is more complicated than the straight-line method and can be intimidating for a small business owner, so it’s important to consult with an accountant before deciding to use this technique.


The depreciation process involves removing value from assets as they deteriorate. Businesses use different methods to estimate and track the depreciation of fixed assets. The most common are the straight-line depreciation method and the double declining balance (DDB) method.

The DDB method is an accelerated depreciation formula that allocates more of an asset’s cost in the early years of its useful life. This allows a company to recognize expenses upfront and shift income tax liability to later years.

It is commonly used by companies with a high level of inventory or equipment that is expected to lose value over time. The DDB method calculates the cost, salvage value and useful life of an asset to estimate its annual depreciation expense.

To calculate a company’s annual depreciation using the DDB method, business owners must first determine the cost basis, the useful life of the asset and its salvage value. These data points can be based on industry standards, the manufacturer’s recommendations or company experience with similar assets.

Once these data points are determined, the annual depreciation expense is then calculated using the double declining balance formula. This formula doubles the straight-line depreciation rate, and multiplies it by the beginning book value each year until the end of the asset’s useful life.

This formula can be used for both MACRS and GAAP-compliant assets. However, because the DDB method requires a more significant percentage of the cost to be allocated to the early years of an asset’s life, it can be inaccurate and result in overstated depreciation expenses.

Despite these issues, the DDB method can be useful for some companies. It is a valuable tool for lowering income taxes in the early years of an asset’s life, and it can also be helpful to match revenues with expenses as assets often perform poorly in the early years of their lives.


The double declining balance method is an accelerated form of depreciation that frontloads a company’s annual depreciation expenses on the first half of an asset’s useful life. This type of depreciation is used by firms when they expect higher utilization or obsolescence of a given asset in the early years of its life.

To calculate depreciation using this formula, a business first estimates the cost of the asset and its estimated salvage value at the end of its useful life. Then it divides this total cost by the percentage of time the asset will be in use during its useful life (typically a rate of twice straight-line depreciation).

Once the depreciation expense is calculated, the resulting amount is then subtracted from the value of the asset on the balance sheet. This process is repeated every year until the asset has been depreciated to zero or it has been discontinued.

Companies may also use the double declining balance method if they expect a greater percentage of depreciation to occur in the early years of an asset’s life than would happen with a straight-line method. This enables the firm to maximize the tax benefits of depreciation, as the taxes paid in the early years are lower than in later years.

In addition to maximizing the tax benefits of depreciation, businesses may also choose to use the double declining balance method if they want to minimize maintenance costs. Since the value of assets diminishes with usage, maintenance costs are typically higher in the early years than in the later years.


Double declining balance depreciation is a form of accelerated depreciation that records larger depreciation expenses in the early years and smaller ones later on as an asset ages. It’s usually used with assets that are expected to lose their value early on or will become obsolete rapidly, such as a car.

While it may seem like a money-up-front advantage, this method can be less predictable than straight line depreciation, which reflects a business’s actual use of the asset. Additionally, it can make it more difficult to predict overall business income when filing estimated quarterly taxes or accounting for cash flow.

A double declining balance method formula calculates a depreciation rate based on a factor, which can be any number between 1 and 2. The first four arguments are cost, salvage, life, and period (also known as the start or beginning period), while the last argument is optional, and it determines by what factor to multiply the straight-line depreciation rate.

To get started, drag the DB function down to cell E8. Include absolute references in front of the columns and rows, just as you did with sum-of-years’ digits. Then, create the other arguments by defining and placing them as with the sum-of-years’ digits method.

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