U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Apr 13, 2024

§ 200.436 - Depreciation.

(a) Depreciation is the method for allocating the cost of fixed assets to periods benefitting from asset use. The non-Federal entity may be compensated for the use of its buildings, capital improvements, equipment, and software projects capitalized in accordance with GAAP, provided that they are used, needed in the non-Federal entity's activities, and properly allocated to Federal awards. Such compensation must be made by computing depreciation.

(b) The allocation for depreciation must be made in accordance with Appendices III through IX.

(c) Depreciation is computed applying the following rules. The computation of depreciation must be based on the acquisition cost of the assets involved. For an asset donated to the non-Federal entity by a third party, its fair market value at the time of the donation must be considered as the acquisition cost. Such assets may be depreciated or claimed as matching but not both. For the computation of depreciation, the acquisition cost will exclude:

(1) The cost of land;

(2) Any portion of the cost of buildings and equipment borne by or donated by the Federal Government, irrespective of where title was originally vested or where it is presently located;

(3) Any portion of the cost of buildings and equipment contributed by or for the non-Federal entity that are already claimed as matching or where law or agreement prohibits recovery;

(4) Any asset acquired solely for the performance of a non-Federal award; and

(d) When computing depreciation charges, the following must be observed:

(1) The period of useful service or useful life established in each case for usable capital assets must take into consideration such factors as type of construction, nature of the equipment, technological developments in the particular area, historical data, and the renewal and replacement policies followed for the individual items or classes of assets involved.

(2) The depreciation method used to charge the cost of an asset (or group of assets) to accounting periods must reflect the pattern of consumption of the asset during its useful life. In the absence of clear evidence indicating that the expected consumption of the asset will be significantly greater in the early portions than in the later portions of its useful life, the straight-line method must be presumed to be the appropriate method. Depreciation methods once used may not be changed unless approved in advance by the cognizant agency. The depreciation methods used to calculate the depreciation amounts for indirect (F&A) rate purposes must be the same methods used by the non-Federal entity for its financial statements.

(3) The entire building, including the shell and all components, may be treated as a single asset and depreciated over a single useful life. A building may also be divided into multiple components. Each component item may then be depreciated over its estimated useful life. The building components must be grouped into three general components of a building: building shell (including construction and design costs), building services systems (e.g., elevators, HVAC, plumbing system and heating and air-conditioning system) and fixed equipment (e.g., sterilizers, casework, fume hoods, cold rooms and glassware/washers). In exceptional cases, a cognizant agency may authorize a non-Federal entity to use more than these three groupings. When a non-Federal entity elects to depreciate its buildings by its components, the same depreciation methods must be used for indirect (F&A) purposes and financial statements purposes, as described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section.

(4) No depreciation may be allowed on any assets that have outlived their depreciable lives.

(5) Where the depreciation method is introduced to replace the use allowance method, depreciation must be computed as if the asset had been depreciated over its entire life (i.e., from the date the asset was acquired and ready for use to the date of disposal or withdrawal from service). The total amount of use allowance and depreciation for an asset (including imputed depreciation applicable to periods prior to the conversion from the use allowance method as well as depreciation after the conversion) may not exceed the total acquisition cost of the asset.

(e) Charges for depreciation must be supported by adequate property records, and physical inventories must be taken at least once every two years to ensure that the assets exist and are usable, used, and needed. Statistical sampling techniques may be used in taking these inventories. In addition, adequate depreciation records showing the amount of depreciation must be maintained.

[78 FR 78608, Dec. 26, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 75886, Dec. 19, 2014; 85 FR 49568, Aug. 13, 2020]