This year (2014) I'm planning on taking a home office deduction as I have recently become an independent contractor doing computer programming. I have set up an area in the basement about roughly 300 sq ft. I'm looking at using the simplified method of $5 per sq ft as this would be the easiest to figure.
Since I'm in the basement, my desk is close to the furnace which makes a lot of normal air flow noise. It can be quite annoying when you're sitting next to it all day long. I purchased some large Styrofoam boards and have glued some acoustic foam to them. I leaned boards up against some wire shelving and they are being held to the shelves by a paper clip (they are really light). This create fake walls to help sound proof the furnace without having to build real walls. One section of it is about 8ft wide x 7ft tall.
Can I deduct the cost of the materials as a business expense since I'm using it to cut down on the noise entering my work space? Would I lose this deduction if I use the simplified method of figuring my home office deduction? Is the home office deduction different than any expenses used to prep the office area?
Also, I wouldn't think this would be some kind of permanent improvement that would need to be depreciated. They are easily movable and could almost be viewed like a tool. Would I have to depreciate the cost of the sound proofing over several years?