Plain English guide to depreciation

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Simplifying Depreciation: Your Easy Guide to Depreciation and Understanding the Basics.

Depreciation might sound like a complex financial term, but fear not! In this straightforward guide, we’ll demystify depreciation, breaking it down into simple concepts. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what it is, why it matters, and how it can benefit you or your business.

What is Depreciation?

Let’s start with the basics. Depreciation is like acknowledging that your favourite pair of shoes or your trusty laptop won’t last forever. In the financial world, it’s a way to recognise that assets lose value over time due to factors like wear and tear or technological advancements.

How Does Depreciation Work?

Depreciation isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. There are different methods to calculate it, but we’ll keep it simple with two common ones: straight-line and reducing balance. Straight-line spreads the cost evenly over the asset’s lifespan, while reducing balance allows for higher depreciation in the early years, mirroring the faster wear and tear.

Tax Perks: Capital Allowances

Now, here’s where it gets interesting for businesses. In the UK, you can get tax benefits through something called “capital allowances.” It’s like the government’s way of saying, “Hey, thanks for investing in stuff that helps your business!” These allowances let you deduct a portion of the asset’s cost from your taxable income.

Annual Investment Allowance

Take it up a notch with the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). This nifty tax incentive allows businesses to deduct the entire cost of qualifying assets, up to a certain limit. It’s a fantastic way to encourage businesses to invest in new equipment or tech, giving them a boost while reducing their tax bill.

Keeping it Straight: Record-Keeping

To make the most of depreciation and capital allowances, good record-keeping is your best friend. Keep track of what you bought, how much it cost, and any depreciation applied. This not only helps with financial planning but also ensures you stay on the right side of tax regulations.


Depreciation may seem like a complex topic, but at its core, it’s a practical way to handle the reality that assets age. By understanding the basics, exploring tax benefits like capital allowances, and keeping meticulous records, you’re well on your way to making depreciation work for you or your business.

Got a question for us, get in touch – there is no such thing as a silly question.

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