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To allocate the purchase cost of an asset over its life.


The gradual reduction of an asset's value. It is an expense, but because it is non-cash, it is often effectively a tax write-off; that is, a person or company usually may reduce his/her/its taxable income by the amount of the depreciation on the asset. Because there are many different ways to account depreciation, it often bears only a rough resemblance to the asset's useful life. This may further benefit the company as they may continue to use the asset tax-free after its value has technically depreciated to nothing. See also: Amortization.


To reduce the value of a long-term tangible asset.
References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, the last names of most Dalits are depreciatory and used unflatteringly in many Indian languages.
4) The majority of the characters names are nothing more than animal reference, with Makak's (monkey) and Moustique's (mosquito) being among the most depreciatory.
As another essayist points out, "'Only a detective story' is now an apologetic and depreciatory phrase which has taken the place of that 'only a novel' which once moved Jane Austen to unaccustomed indignation" (Krutch 41).
But after a few sips, the bottle made far less sense as a depreciatory distraction.
She shouldn't listen to the depreciatory remarks of family and friends who usually advise her in such a case to ask for a divorce.