Can you take a tax deduction for your celiac-related gluten-free purchases? Well, income tax season is upon us once again, and so it’s time to brush up on our tax rules. People with celiac disease can rack up thousands of dollars per year in extra food, medical, and other health-related costs. However, many people who eat gluten-free diets as treatment for celiac disease or other medical conditions may be eligible for tax breaks.
According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, the burden of celiac disease can cost an extra $1,000 to $2,500 per year. So are you eligible?
1. To be eligible, you must have a documented reason to require the observance of a gluten-free diet; along with a physician’s prescription to follow a gluten-free diet will provide sufficient documentation of eligibility.
2. The excess cost of gluten-free food can be deducted if the taxpayer can deduct expenses paid for medical care of the taxpayer, spouse, or dependent; to the extent the expenses exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income for 2015. If you meet both of these criteria and choose to itemize deductions consult with your tax advisor. Start collecting receipts and record them regularly. Download a spreadsheet for calculating the deductible expense.
There are even some deductions available for gluten-free food and travel expenses.
You may deduct the cost of gluten-free food that is in excess of the cost of the gluten containing food that you are replacing. For example, if a loaf of gluten-free bread costs $5.00 and a comparable loaf of gluten containing bread costs $2.50, you may include in your medical expenses the excess cost of $2.50.
The full cost of special items needed for a gluten-free diet may be deducted. An example is the cost of Xanthan gum used in gluten-free home baked items, which is never used in a gluten containing recipe.
If you make a special trip to a store to purchase gluten-free foods, the cost of your transportation to and from the store is deductible. If you used your vehicle for the trip during the year 2014, you may deduct 23.5 cents per mile. For 2015, you may deduct 23 cents per mile. You may also include tolls and parking fees.
The full cost of postage or other delivery expenses for GF foods made by mail order are deductible.
And of course, you will need to file! Fill out the medical deductions form called form 1040, schedule A.
This should go without saying, but I am not an accountant or lawyer, please discuss all this with your accountant or tax consultant before filing with the IRS.