Those that are self-employed and have their only office in the home, or are employees who have an office in the home for the convenience of their employer, can write off some of their home expenses on their tax return by allocating costs and depreciation on business use and square footage.
This year the government has given those individuals a simpler option. Instead of using Form 8829 to allocate those costs, there is an option which allows for a float $5.00 per square foot (up to 300 sq. feet) of the home used regularly and exclusively for business. The maximum write off would be $1500 under this method. In addition, those who use the simplified method can still use all the allowable mortgage interest and real estates on Sch. A, even what was normally allocated to business use.
Since it involves less record keeping, many people in this situation may prefer to use the simplified method if keeping all those heating bills etc. seemed to be too much effort.