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Tax Deductions for Diet Related Expenses

0 Comments 01 February 2012

It is possible to deduct at least some of our gluten free food expenses from our income tax. For more information about this, read this article from The Celiac Disease Foundation and/or this one from The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The only issue is for the individual to determine if the deduction is worth the time and effort. Last week, I asked the readers of our newsletter for their opinion on this subject.

I’m asking you to do the same thing. Please add comments to this article talking about your experiences claiming a tax deduction for you gluten free food expenses or how you feel about attempting to do so this year or in the future. Here are the comments I have collected from the people who read our newsletter:

“I was going to do that too last year but received an email regarding that very subject from — I believe — it was from GIG  (Gluten Intolerance Group).  The article was written by a tax person and said you had to have each and every receipt.  Ok, I did — I saved them all and circled all the GF foods with a red pen.  BUT …  you did not get to deduct the amount you paid for all that GF food … what you could deduct was the amount left AFTER deducting what you’d normally pay for “regular” non-GF food from the actual price paid for the GF product.  THAT was the amount you would be able to claim on your income tax! After all that bookkeeping as mentioned, it would come out to such a minimal amount …. it would not make that much of a difference.  And I have plenty of other ways to spend that time!”

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“I have been taking the gluten-free deduction for several years.  It is rather time consuming, but with the price of gluten-free foods, it can be worth it. I keep all the receipts for gluten-free food throughout the year.  I make up a spread-sheet listing the food item and the price paid for it.  I then go to the grocery store (usually Wal-Mart) to find out the price of a comparable gluten food which is entered in another column.  Then calculate the difference between the two.  You’d be surprised how much it can amount to. This amount is treated as a medical expense.  My taxes are prepared by an accountant, and he has never questioned my procedure.”

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 “Yes you can count gluten free foods as a tax deduction. You have to have your receipts for your special foods.  The way you calculate it—you can count the difference in cost from what you paid for the gluten free foods and what the regular food costs.  My daughter has celiac disease so we checked on this deduction last year.  it takes time but it is worth it she said.  For instance—subtract the price of regular flour from the price of you gluten free flour, or your soups, bisquick mix, cornmeal, cake mixes, cookie mixes and etc.

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”I wanted to reply to your comment regarding tax deductions for food.  I filed last year and gave my accountant documents that I printed describing how gluten free food is considered a medical expense and how the price of gluten free food is x% more than normal food.  I also brought the paperwork from my doctor that reported that I had Celiac.  It was pretty easy.  Since I did not file the taxes myself, I can’t tell you how she did it or what difference it made, but I did get more back when she filed my taxes and included the GF information than when I tried to file myself using turbotax.  That was my first tax season since becoming GF.  This year, I saved receipts from every grocery shopping trip, in case she needed the information to file.  I also gave her paperwork from medical expenses: my medical bills from the endoscopy, the price of my medications I was put on when I was first diagnosed, etc. I can’t comment on if its “worth” the bookkeeping or expense- last year was the first year I filed my taxes with an accountant,

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