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Charging an asset amount to expense or loss, such as through the use of depreciation and amortization of assets.


A reduction in an individual's or a company's income as the result of an expense. For example, an unpayable credit sale may be a write-off for the creditor, especially if the debtor declares bankruptcy. The bankruptcy means that the debtor is unable to pay the debt, which results in a loss of income for the creditor. A write-off may usually be deducted from one's taxable income.


To take an asset entirely off the books because it no longer has any value.If an accrualbasis taxpayer has taken money into income when bills were sent out to customers,but then some of the bills became uncollectible, the taxpayer may write off the uncollectible ones as a deduction against income. Financial institutions are required to write off loans when they become delinquent by a certain amount.

References in periodicals archive ?
9 billion writedown on risky assets, which contributed to the first-half loss, had been a chastening experience.
The latest writedown - $19 billion - was the biggest single subprime hit so far worldwide and came on top of $18.
Dougan said it is "hard to predict" if Credit Suisse will require further writedowns.
Exhibit 1, page 59, shows a sophisticated postauditing system that monitors writedowns (the blue shaded portions).
Pearson and Okubara (Accounting Horizons, March, 1987) point out that recent writeoffs related to restructurings have some special features: 1) the magnitude of the dollars involved; 2) a sudden spurt in the number of firms undergoing the process; and 3) partial writedowns of assets remaining in use.
Funds from operations for the year ended December 31, 2007 included income from recoveries of previous writedowns, gains from non real estate asset sales, and gains from loan payoffs totaling $25,736,000 or $.
According to some analysts, Goldman Sachs (NYSE :GS) had to accept losses because of the writedowns it was forced to take in troubled Portuguese bank, Banco Espirito Santo SA, in the fourth quarter.
After a number of cost cutting efforts and asset writedowns across its operations in the country, Vale, a Brazilian mining giant has decided to sell its coal mine in Queensland, Australia.
Banks are expected to recapitalise in a variety of ways after writedowns resulting from a planned bond swap, which calls for a 53.
Hellenic Bank was the second Cypriot lender to report a full-year loss because of writedowns on Greek holdings, after Bank of Cyprus last week posted a EUR1bn loss for 2011.
That clashes with several other countries' push for steeper writedowns.
The debt crisis in Greece could trigger a need for writedowns at German banks, German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said on Thursday.