If you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease you are no doubt, well aware of the cost of eating a gluten-free diet. Recently though, I’ve found few who are aware that the IRS allows a tax deduction for a percentage paid for gluten-free food.
Please note – I am by no means a tax expert. But as I understand it, if you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease you are allowed to claim the difference between the price paid for gluten-free food and its non-gluten free counterpart as a medical expense. Here’s some info from an article Tax Deduction for Gluten-Free Foods as a Medical Expense for Diagnosed Celiacs Only I found on Celiac.com. Pay special note to #3 as this is where we’re happy to help in any way we can (see below).
1) You can claim only the EXTRA COST of the gluten-free product over what you would pay for the similar item at a grocery store. For example, if wheat flour costs $0.89 per 5 lbs. and rice flour is $3.25 per 5 lbs., the DIFFERENCE of $2.36 is tax deductible. You may also claim mileage expense for the extra trip to the health food store and postal costs on gluten-free products ordered by mail.
2) The cost of xanthan gum (methylcellulose, etc.) used in gluten-free home baked goods is completely different than anything used in an ordinary recipe, so in the opinion of the IRS, the total cost of this item can be claimed.
3) Save all cash register tapes, receipts, and canceled checks to substantiate your gluten-free purchases. You will need to prepare a list of grocery store prices to arrive at the differences in costs. You need not submit it with your return, but do retain it.
4) Attach a letter from your doctor to your tax return. This letter should state that you have Celiac Sprue disease and must adhere to a total gluten-free diet for life.
5) Under MEDICAL DEDUCTIONS list as Extra cost of a gluten-free diet the total amount of your extra expenses. You do not need to itemize these expenses.
As I said before, #3 above is where Vital Choice Healthstore can help. If you would like a detailed list of your purchases for the entire year, please email (email@example.com) or call us at 440-885-9505. We would be happy to prepare a report and email, fax or snail mail it out.
For more information, I recommenced reading the article on Celiac.com. Note – pay special attention to one of the comments regarding Health Savings Account deductions versus straight 1040 medical expenses.
Finally, if you have any thoughts or experience with this, please share your thoughts in the comments field below.