This free online depreciation calculator will calculate the rate and expense amount for an asset for a given year based on its acquisition cost, salvage value, and expected useful life  using the double declining balance method.
Plus, the calculator also gives you the option to include a yearbyyear depreciation schedule in the results  along with button to open the schedule in a printer friendly window.
Note that if you would like an answer to "What is Depreciation?", or you would like to calculate straight line depreciation, please visit the SLD Calculator.
Or, if you would like calculate or learn about the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) method, please visit the MACRS Calculator.
The Double Declining Balance (DDB) Method is a system designed to accelerate the cost recovery of any asset's depreciable base. After all, most assets depreciate faster in their early years of service, and slower in their later years of service. The DDB method addresses that notion.
In fact, as the name suggests, the DDB method results in a firstyear depreciation expense of double the amount that could be expensed using the straight line method.
However, due to the way its calculated, the DDB method of depreciating an asset rarely fully depreciates the asset by the end of the recovery period. Therefore most companies switch to the straightline method during the final year(s) of the recover period in order to fully depreciate the asset.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that unlike the straightline method, the DDB method ignores the salvage value in its calculations  unless taking the full DDB depreciation for a given year would cause the book value to drop below the salvage value. In that case, only the excess of the depreciable base may be expensed for that year.
To calculate DDB, you first calculate the straightline depreciation (SLD) expense percentage based on the acquisition cost (adjusted basis) of the asset  while ignoring the salvage value  and then double that percentage to arrive at the DDB percentage.
For example, if you purchased a machine costing $10,000, with a salvage value of $1,000 and a useful life of 5 years, the SLD rate would be equal to 100% divided by 5, or 20%. Next, double the SLD rate to get the DDB rate, which in this case would be 40%.
Therefore, the first year depreciation expense for the $10,000 machine would be equal to $4,000 (.40 X 10,000)  provided the asset was placed in service on January 1, of that year.
For all remaining years the DDB depreciation expense would be calculated by multiplying the book value (acquisition cost minus accumulated depreciation) by the 40% rate  except in the case where that result would cause the book value to drop below the salvage value.
Referring to back to the machine example discussed earlier, if you expect the $10,000 machine to last for 5 years, with a salvage value of $1,000.00, and you place the machine in service in July of 2012, here is how you would calculate the double declining depreciation expense for the applicable years.
Step 1: DDB rate = 100% / 5 years x 2 = 40% 
Step 2: 1st year depreciation rate = 6 months / 12 months = .5 x 40% = 20% 
Step 3: 1st year depreciation expense = $10,000 x 20% = $2,000 
Step 4: Subsequent years depreciation expense = book value * 40%. 
Step 5: If necessary, adjust depreciation expense to preserve salvage value. 
Here is the depreciation schedule for the above example, as generated by the double declining balance calculator found lower down on this page:
Machine DDB Depreciation Schedule  
#  Year  Beginning Value 
%  Depreciation Expense 
Accumulated Depreciation 
Ending Value 
1  2012  $10,000  20.00%  $2,000  $2,000  $8,000 
2  2013  $8,000  40.00%  $3,200  $5,200  $4,800 
3  2014  $4,800  40.00%  $1,920  $7,120  $2,880 
4  2015  $2,880  40.00%  $1,152  $8,272  $1,728 
5  2016  $1,728  40.00%  $691  $8,963  $1,037 
6  2017  $1,037  3.55%  $37  $9,000  $1,000 
In the last line of the above depreciation schedule you will note that the depreciation expense was adjusted downward so as not to depreciate the machine beyond its salvage value.
Please note that both the StraightLine Depreciation Calculator and the Double Declining Balance Calculator are basically included here as learning tools and do not necessarily calculate depreciation in accordance with the IRS's Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) methodology. For that you will want to visit the MACRS Depreciation Calculator.
With that, let's use the Double Declining Balance Calculator to calculate an asset's DDB depreciation rate and expense for a given tax year.

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