Straight-Line Method of Depriciation

The Straight-Line Method of depreciation is one of the most straightforward and commonly used methods for allocating the cost of an asset over its useful life. In India, this method is widely employed for financial reporting and tax purposes. This approach assumes that an asset’s value decreases evenly over its useful life, resulting in a consistent depreciation expense each year. Below, we’ll explore the Straight-Line Method in detail with Indian examples.

How the Straight-Line Method Works:

The formula for calculating depreciation using the Straight-Line Method is as follows:

Depreciation Expense = (Cost of Asset – Salvage Value) / Useful Life


  • Cost of Asset: The initial purchase price or acquisition cost of the asset.
  • Salvage Value: The estimated residual value of the asset at the end of its useful life, if any.
  • Useful Life: The expected number of years or units of production over which the asset is useful.

Key Features of the Straight-Line Method:

  1. Equal Annual Depreciation: This method distributes the depreciation expense evenly over the asset’s useful life. Each year, the same depreciation amount is recorded.
  2. No Consideration of Asset’s Condition: The Straight-Line Method assumes that the asset depreciates at a constant rate regardless of its actual condition or wear and tear.
  3. Book Value Reduction: The book value (original cost minus accumulated depreciation) of the asset decreases linearly each year.

Indian Examples:

Let’s consider a few Indian examples to illustrate how the Straight-Line Method works:

Example 1: Office Equipment in a Business

Suppose an Indian business purchases office equipment, such as computers and printers, for ₹1,00,000 with an estimated useful life of 5 years and no salvage value. Using the Straight-Line Method:

Depreciation Expense = (₹1,00,000 – ₹0) / 5 = ₹20,000 per year

  • Year 1: Depreciation Expense = ₹20,000
    • Book Value at the end of Year 1: ₹1,00,000 – ₹20,000 = ₹80,000
  • Year 2: Depreciation Expense = ₹20,000
    • Book Value at the end of Year 2: ₹80,000 – ₹20,000 = ₹60,000

And so on for subsequent years until the asset’s book value reaches ₹0.

Example 2: Commercial Building

Consider an Indian real estate company that constructs a commercial building for ₹10,00,00,000. The estimated useful life of the building is 40 years, and there’s no salvage value.

Depreciation Expense = (₹10,00,00,000 – ₹0) / 40 = ₹25,00,00,000 / 40 = ₹25,00,000 per year

  • Year 1: Depreciation Expense = ₹25,00,000
    • Book Value at the end of Year 1: ₹10,00,00,000 – ₹25,00,000 = ₹9,75,00,000
  • Year 2: Depreciation Expense = ₹25,00,000
    • Book Value at the end of Year 2: ₹9,75,00,000 – ₹25,00,000 = ₹9,50,00,000

And so forth for each year until the end of the 40-year useful life.


The Straight-Line Method of depreciation is a simple and widely used approach in India to allocate the cost of assets systematically over time. While it offers a straightforward way to account for depreciation, it may not accurately represent the actual wear and tear of some assets, particularly those that lose value more rapidly in their early years. Businesses in India should carefully consider their specific needs and adhere to relevant accounting and tax regulations when selecting a depreciation method.

Share with friends