Meaning of Depreciation Table Part II

By | June 15, 2021

Where can you find the depreciation table?

The current version of the official depreciation tables is published on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance .

According to healthknowing, the basis is the depreciation table for generally usable assets ( depreciation table AV ), in which the normal useful lives according to Section 7 (1) sentence 2 EStG for non-sector-specific assets (e.g. vehicles, office equipment, computers) are shown.

Depreciation tables for various branches of industry

In addition to the depreciation table AV, there are around 100 special depreciation tables, for example for waste management, telecommunications or the brush industry, in which the industry-specific assets are listed. So here you will also find the shower catheter listed above and many thousands of other bizarre-looking capital goods.

How does the depreciation work?

After the first terms are clear, we can take a closer look at the calculation process.

Depreciation assessment basis

The initial value, called the assessment basis in technical jargon, is formed by the so-called acquisition and production costs, or AHK for short, in both commercial and tax law (Section 253 (1) HGB, Section 6 EStG).

Acquisition costs are, according to Section 255, Paragraph 1 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), the expenses that are incurred in order to acquire an asset and to put it in an operational state, insofar as it is a matter of individual costs . The acquisition costs also include the ancillary costs and the subsequent acquisition costs.

These include, for example:

  • Purchase price
  • Transportation costs
  • Packaging costs
  • Consulting costs and fees (lawyer, notary, land register)
  • Duties
  • Setup and conversion costs

Purchase price reductions (e.g. bonuses, discounts) that can be individually assigned to the asset must be deducted.

Among the manufacturing costs are according to § 255 para. 2 HGB, the expenses incurred by the consumption of goods and the use of services for the production of an asset, its extension or for going beyond its original state significant improvement.

This includes in particular

  • material costs
  • manufacturing costs
  • special manufacturing costs as well
  • reasonable material overhead
  • reasonable manufacturing overheads
  • production-related depreciation
  • reasonable administrative overheads (including expenses for company social facilities, voluntary social benefits and company pension schemes), insofar as these are attributable to the period of manufacture

Research and distribution costs may not be included.

Determine the value of the item

The value of the item can of course be read from the invoice. But the law (§ 2531 (1) and § 255 (1) and (2) HBG) allows additional costs (acquisition and manufacture) to be added – namely all that are necessary to get the device ready for operation .

  • 253 (1) HBG: Assets are to be valued at their acquisition or production costs at most, less the depreciation according to paragraphs 3 to 5.

Now you can determine the rate in the depreciation table

After determining the AHK, the next step is to find the asset in one of the official depreciation tables. As already explained above, all non-sector-specific assets are listed in table AV. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, go to the tables for your branch of industry.

The depreciation table shows the useful life and, in certain tables, the percentage depreciation rate for straight-line depreciation.

Example: In table AV, in category 4 “Vehicles”, you will find a useful life for cars (4.2.1) of 6 years, which results in a depreciation rate of 16.67%.

In the year of acquisition, only the proportional depreciation may be taken into account, whereby the month of receipt is decisive. For example, if a car is delivered in May 01, you may only deduct 8/12 of the full amount or 11.11 percent of the assessment base as depreciation for the year 01.

Different depreciation methods

In addition to the depreciation, you have the option of making unscheduled depreciation on fixed and current assets . According to § 6 EStG you can make a collective depreciation or you can also make increased depreciations. This depends, among other things, on whether the object to be depreciated is a low-value asset.

These can be carried out directly or indirectly, calculated on a pager (fictitious) basis for accounting , or set on an imputed basis as well as planned (wear and tear) or unscheduled (loss).

However, in addition to the one mentioned above, two of the types of depreciation listed in Section 7 EStG are important for you. The straight-line and the declining balance depreciation.

Linear depreciation

The straight-line depreciation is specified in the HBG and states that the acquisition or production costs are to be depreciated in constant annual amounts over the useful life. The amount is calculated by dividing the acquisition / production costs by the useful life.

Example: The company vehicle costs 36,000 euros and can be depreciated over 6 years. 36,000 / 6 = 6,000 euros per year. This amount is then added to your income statement annually .

Declining balance depreciation

The declining balance stood gleichberechtig addition to the linear depreciation both tax and commercial law by the end of 2007. In the meantime, however, this depreciation method is only allowed in very rare exceptional cases. The maximum allowable depreciation amount per year was 30%.

With the degressive depreciation, the AHK is not the assessment basis for the annual depreciation, but the residual book value of the previous year. Because you never get to zero with this type of calculation, the good is written off in the last year of use with the residual value.

Example: The company vehicle mentioned above could have been written off at 20%, for example. Then 20% of 36,000 euros, i.e. 7,200 euros, would have had to be written off in the first year. The residual value would then have been 28,800 euros. In the second year you would have calculated the 20% of the 28,800 euros (= 5,760 euros) and so on.

Depreciation Table 2