economic or physical life of a fixed asset. All fixed assets except land are depreciated over the number of years of expected use.
for tax purposes, the number of years over which the cost of an asset may be spread. See Accelerated Cost Recovery System.
Example: Abel buys an apartment complex. For tax purposes the building has a 27½-year depreciable life for accounting purposes.
for appraisal purposes, the estimated useful life of an asset.
Example: Baker buys an apartment complex. An appraiser estimates that the roof will last for 15 years, so it has a 15-year depreciable life for economic purposes.