Double Declining Balance Method

Updated on May 3, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

The double Declining Balance Method is one of the accelerated methods used for the calculation of the depreciation amount to be charged in the income statement of the company, and it is calculated by multiplying the Book value of an asset with the rate of depreciation as per the straight-line method and 2.

Double Declining Balance Depreciation Method

A double-declining balance method is a form of an accelerated depreciation method in which the asset value is depreciated at twice the rate it is done in the straight-line method. Since the depreciation is done at a faster rate (twice, to be precise) than the straight-line method, it is called accelerated depreciationAccelerated DepreciationAccelerated depreciation is a way of depreciating assets at a faster rate than the straight-line method, resulting in higher depreciation expenses in the early years of the asset's useful life than in the later years. The assumption that assets are more productive in the early years than in later years is the main motivation for using this method. read more.

However, accelerated depreciation does not mean that the depreciation expenseDepreciation ExpenseDepreciation is a systematic allocation method used to account for the costs of any physical or tangible asset throughout its useful life. Its value indicates how much of an asset’s worth has been utilized. Depreciation enables companies to generate revenue from their assets while only charging a fraction of the cost of the asset in use each year. read more will also be higher. Instead, the asset will depreciate by the same amount; however, it will be expensed higher in the early years of its useful life. The depreciation expense will be lower in the later years compared to the straight-line depreciation method.

Declining Balance Method

Double Declining Balance Method Formula

Using the Double-declining balance method, the depreciation will be:

  • Double Declining Balance Method Formula = 2 X Cost of the asset X Depreciation rate or
  • Double Declining Balance Formula = 2 X Cost of the asset/Useful Life

Declining Balance Method of Depreciation Explained in Video


How to Calculate Double Declining Balance Depreciation

The following are the steps involved in calculating depreciation expense using a Double declining method.

  1. Determine the initial cost of the asset at the time of purchasing.
  2. Determine the salvage value of the asset, i.e., the value at which the asset can be sold or disposed of after its useful life is over.
  3. Determine the useful or functional life of the asset
  4. Calculate depreciation rateCalculate Depreciation RateThe depreciation rate is the percent rate at which an asset depreciates during its estimated useful life. It can also be defined as the percentage of a company's long-term investment in an asset that the firm claims as a tax-deductible expense throughout the asset's useful life.read more, i.e., 1/useful life
  5. Multiply the beginning period book value by twice the depreciation rate to find the depreciation expense.
  6. Deduct the depreciation expense from the beginning value to calculate the ending period value
  7. Repeat the above steps till the salvage value is reached

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Double Declining Method Example

Suppose a business has bought a machine for $ 100,000. They have estimated the machine’s useful life to be eight years, with a salvage value of $ 11,000.

Now, as per the straight-line method of depreciation:

  • Cost of the asset = $ 100,000
  • Salvage Value = $ 11,000
  • The useful life of the asset = 8 years
  • Depreciation rate = 1/useful life *100 = (1/8) * 100 = 12.5%

Double-declining balance formula = 2 X Cost of the asset X Depreciation rate.

Here, it will be 2 x 12.5% = 25%

  • Year 1 Depreciation = $100000 X 25% = $25,000
  • Year 2 Depreciation = $75,000 x 25% = $18,750

Depreciation account of the balance sheet will look like below over the 8 years of the machine’s life:

YearBook Value (Beginning Year)DepreciationBook Value (End Year)

In the above table, it can be seen:

How to adjust the depreciation charges on the Balance sheet, Income statement, and the cash flow statement?

In detail, we will look into how this expense is charged on the Balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statementCash Flow StatementA Statement of Cash Flow is an accounting document that tracks the incoming and outgoing cash and cash equivalents from a business.read more in detail. Let us take the double declining balance example of the machine:

  1. When the machine is bought for $ 100,000, the cash and cash equivalentsCash And Cash EquivalentsCash and Cash Equivalents are assets that are short-term and highly liquid investments that can be readily converted into cash and have a low risk of price fluctuation.  Cash and paper money, US Treasury bills, undeposited receipts, and Money Market funds are its examples. They are normally found as a line item on the top of the balance sheet asset. read more are reduced by $ 100,000 and moved to the Property, plant, and equipment line of the balance sheet.
  2. At the same time, an outflow of $ 100,000 is shown in the cash flow statement.
  3. Now, $ 25,000 will be charged to the income statement as a depreciation expense in the first year, $ 18,750 in the second year, and so on for eight continuous years. Although all the amount is paid for the machine at the time of purchase, the expense is charged over time.
  4. Every year respective depreciation expense is added to a contra accountContra AccountContra Account is an opposite entry passed to offset its related original account balances in the ledger. It helps a business retrieve the actual capital amount & amount of decrease in the value, hence representing the account’s net balances. read more of the balance sheet, i.e., Property, plant, and equipment. This is called accumulated depreciation. This is to reduce any carrying value of the asset. Thus, after the 1st year, the accumulated depreciationAccumulated DepreciationThe accumulated depreciation of an asset is the amount of cumulative depreciation charged on the asset from its purchase date until the reporting date. It is a contra-account, the difference between the asset's purchase price and its carrying value on the balance sheet.read more will be $ 25000. After 2nd year it will be $ 43,000, and until the end of the 8th year, it will be $ 89,000.
  5. After the machine’s useful life is over, the carrying valueCarrying ValueCarrying value is the book value of assets in a company's balance sheet, computed as the original cost less accumulated depreciation/impairments. It is calculated for intangible assets as the actual cost less amortization expense/impairments.read more of the asset will be only $ 11,000. The management will sell the asset, and if it is sold above the salvage value, a profit will be booked in the income statementIncome StatementThe income statement is one of the company's financial reports that summarizes all of the company's revenues and expenses over time in order to determine the company's profit or loss and measure its business activity over time based on user requirements.read more or a loss if sold below the salvage value. The amount earned after selling the asset will be shown as the cash inflow in the cash flow statement, and the same will be entered in the cash and cash equivalents line of the balance sheet.

When is the Double Declining Method used?

The double-declining balance method is used in two circumstances:

  • When the asset is utilized at a more rapid rate in the initial years of its useful life.
  • When the business intends to recognize the expense in the early stage to reduce profitability and thereby defer taxes.

Disadvantages of Double Declining Method of Depreciation

The double-declining balance method has some disadvantages over the straight-line method:

  • It is a bit more complex than the more traditional and simpler straight-line method.
  • Most assets are used consistently over their useful life; thus, depreciating them at an accelerated rate does not make sense. Further, it does not reflect the actual use of the asset.
  • A double-declining balance method skews profitability. The company is less profitable in the early years than in later years; thus, it will be difficult to measure its true operational profitability.


A double-declining balance depreciation method is an accelerated depreciation method that can be used to depreciate the asset’s value over the useful life. It is a bit more complex than the straight-line method of depreciation but is useful for deferring taxDeferring TaxDeferred Tax is the effect that occurs in a firm as a result of timing differences between the date when taxes are actually paid to tax authorities by the company and the date when such tax is accrued. Simply put, it is the difference in taxes that arises when taxes due in one of the accounting period are either not paid or overpaid.read more payments and maintaining low profitability in the early years.

This has been a guide to the Double Declining Balance Method of Depreciation. Here we discuss its double declining balance formula, practical examples, advantages, and disadvantages. You may learn more about accounting from the following article –

Reader Interactions


  1. Miftah Abdella sSalih says

    Thank u

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