Depreciation

1. A method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both tax and accounting purposes.

2. A decrease in an asset’s value caused by unfavorable market conditions.

1. For accounting purposes, depreciation indicates how much of an asset’s value has been used up. For tax purposes, businesses can deduct the cost of the tangible assets they purchase as business expenses; however, businesses must depreciate these assets in accordance with IRS rules about how and when the deduction may be taken based on what the asset is and how long it will last.

Depreciation is used in accounting to try to match the expense of an asset to the income that the asset helps the company earn. For example, if a company buys a piece of equipment for $1 million and expects it to have a useful life of 10 years, it will be depreciated over 10 years. Every accounting year, the company will expense $100,000 (assuming straight-line depreciation), which will be matched with the money that the equipment helps to make each year.

2. Currency and real estate are two examples of assets that can depreciate or lose value. During the infamous Russian ruble crisis in 1998, the ruble lost 25% of its value in one day. During the housing crisis of 2008, homeowners in the hardest-hit areas, such as Las Vegas, saw the value of their homes depreciate by as much as 50%.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

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  • dépréciation — [ depresjasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1771; de déprécier ♦ Action de déprécier, de se déprécier; état de ce qui est déprécié. Dépréciation des marchandises, de l or, de l argent. ⇒ avilissement, baisse, décote, dévalorisation. L inflation entraîne la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Depreciation — Dépréciation En économie, une dépréciation est une perte de valeur d un bien, ou plus généralement d une monnaie. En comptabilité générale, une dépréciation est la constatation comptable d une moins value probable sur un élément d actif. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • depreciation — de·pre·ci·a·tion /di ˌprē shē ā shən/ n 1: any decrease in the value of property (as machinery) for the purpose of taxation that cannot be offset by current repairs and is carried on company books as a yearly charge amortizing the original cost… …   Law dictionary

  • Depreciation — De*pre ci*a tion (d[ e]*pr[=e] sh[i^]*[=a] sh[u^]n), n. [Cf. F. d[ e]pr[ e]ciation.] 1. The act of lessening, or seeking to lessen, price, value, or reputation. [1913 Webster] 2. The falling of value; reduction of worth. Burke. [1913 Webster] 3.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • DEPRECIATION — Снижение стоимости обесценивание валюты, вызванное действием рыночных механизмов и не связанное с действиями государственных организаций Словарь бизнес терминов. Академик.ру. 2001 …   Словарь бизнес-терминов

  • depreciation — 1767, a lowering of value (originally of currency), noun of action from DEPRECIATE (Cf. depreciate). Meaning loss of value of a durable good by age or wear is from 1900 …   Etymology dictionary

  • depreciation — [n] devaluation accounting allowance, deflation, fall, loss of value, reduction, slump; concepts 137,236,240,247 …   New thesaurus

  • depreciation — [dē prē΄shē ā′shən, diprē΄shē ā′shən] n. [see DEPRECIATE ] ☆ 1. a) a decrease in value of property through wear, deterioration, or obsolescence b) the allowance made for this in bookkeeping, accounting, etc. ☆ 2. a decrease in the purchasing… …   English World dictionary

  • Depreciation — Not to be confused with Deprecation. Depreciation refers to two very different but related concepts: the decrease in value of assets (fair value depreciation), and the allocation of the cost of assets to periods in which the assets are used… …   Wikipedia

  • depreciation — /dapriyshiyeyshsn/ In accounting, spreading out the cost of a capital asset over its estimated useful life. Depreciation expense reduces the taxable income of an entity but does not reduce the cash. A decline in value of property caused by wear… …   Black's law dictionary

  • depreciation — /dapriyshiyeyshsn/ In accounting, spreading out the cost of a capital asset over its estimated useful life. Depreciation expense reduces the taxable income of an entity but does not reduce the cash. A decline in value of property caused by wear… …   Black's law dictionary

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