Is Depreciation Expense an Operating Expense? Explanation
Is Depreciation Expense an Operating Expense? Explanation

Buyer closing costs on a rental property typically range between 2%-5% of the loan amount. With the exception of interest, certain mortgage points, and property taxes, most other closing costs must be added to the property costs basis and depreciated over time. Depreciation is, however, one of those operating expenses where cash movement is lacking.

Depreciation is a non-cash operation expense as the assets in use are deployed in routine business operations. Assets that are tangible are depreciated, while in the case of intangible assets, it is called amortization. Some firms successfully reduce operating expenses to gain a competitive advantage and increase earnings.


Depending on the issues found, a buyer may ask a seller to lower the asking price, offer a credit for repairs, or close the deal and pay for any needed repairs out of pocket. The guidance for determining scrap value and life expectancy can be ambiguous. So, investors should be wary of overstated life expectancies and scrap values. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.

Is depreciation an operating expense?

Cash is spent during the acquisition of the fixed asset, so there is no need to expend any more cash as part of the depreciation process unless the asset is being upgraded. How depreciation of a fixed asset is treated in an income loss is contingent upon numerous factors. However, claim disputes may be mitigated to an extent by using clear and unambiguous wording in the property insurance contract. The language should outline how depreciation will be treated in the event of an income loss in order to ensure that the principle of indemnity is upheld. The Supreme Court of Illinois agreed with the analysis set forth by the lower-level circuit court. The circuit court stated that depreciation as a non-continuing expense should have been specifically included within the contract if USF&G intended for it to be deducted.

Depreciation Could Be Either an Operating Expense or a Non-operating Expense

The cumulative depreciation of an asset up to a single point in its life is called accumulated depreciation. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. Insurance adjusters and insureds each have their own perspective as to how depreciation should be treated in the payment of an income loss to the business. Below is a sample of arguments made by the different parties; however, the list is not exhaustive.

Is depreciation an operating expense?

Depreciation is nothing but a diminution in the value of an asset, due to natural wear and tear, exhaustion of subject matter, effluxion of time accident, obsolescence or similar causes. A professional appraisal is conducted by a third party to estimate the fair market value of a property. A lender may order an appraisal to ensure that the home is worth at least the purchase price, while a cash buyer may order a property appraisal as well. After signing up for a free Stessa account, head over to the Tax Center for tax resources created in partnership with The Real Estate CPA, including how-to articles and videos. PwC refers to the US member firm or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network.

What is Cost of Goods Sold vs. Operating Expenses?

There is often debate around whether depreciation should be considered an operating expense or a non-operating expense. Operating expenses are costs related to the day-to-day activities of running a business, while non-operating expenses are those incurred outside of normal business operations. Companies often incur expenses that aren’t directly related to the day-to-day operating costs of running the business. These are categorized as non-operating expenses, and it’s a good accounting practice to tally them separately on a company’s income statement.

  • Joe has produced over 1,000 articles and IT-related content for various publications and tech companies over the last 15 years.
  • The annual depreciation expense is often added back to earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to calculate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) as it is a large non-cash expense.
  • If a company decided to write it off as an expense, they can deduct the entire cost in the first year.
  • Depreciation can be computed using many methods, such as the straight-line method, the sum of years digits method, the double declining method, and production units.
  • Many C-level execs and financial departments prefer stable payments over fluctuating monthly payments.

Additionally, state laws and cases will affect the outcome, especially if the insurance policy is silent on the issue of depreciation. When the cloud first became feasible, a giant hindrance was the lack of transparency into costs. With low monthly costs, budget approval of OpEx procurement can be a lot speedier, reducing the time needed to achieve business goals. Instead of purchasing expensive licenses to own and alter software in a CapEx Is depreciation an operating expense? model, companies can shift towards as-a-service options, including SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, AIaaS, and even IT as a service. Many organizations specify that all major IT goods or services be purchased, and they cannot be leased or “rented” through an MSP. When purchasing an IBM Power system, you as the purchaser are responsible for all IT Operations management (ITOps) capabilities, including backups, operating system upgrades, and repairs.

Example of: Is Depreciation an Operating Expense

Joe has produced over 1,000 articles and IT-related content for various publications and tech companies over the last 15 years. Many IT material goods—like servers, generators, or UPS systems—can be purchased either as a capital item or as an operating expense item. On the other hand, the more money you spend on CapEx means less free cash flow for the rest of the business, which can hinder shorter-term operations.

Where is depreciation in operating expenses?

In the income statement, depreciation is usually included under operating expenses, often within a line item called “Depreciation and Amortization.” This expense is subtracted from the company's gross profit to arrive at operating profit (also known as operating income or EBIT).

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