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Tax Deduction for Gluten-Free Foods as a Medical Expense for Diagnosed Celiacs Only

The following guidelines were received from the Oct. 1993 CSA/USA National Conference in Buffalo, NY:

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.

Suggestions:

1) You may want to write the Citations (as given below) on your tax return. Always keep a copy of your doctors letter for your own records.

2) Your IRS office may refer you to Publication 17 and tell you these deductions are not permissible. IRS representatives have ruled otherwise and this is applicable throughout the US Refer them to the following Citations:

  • Revenue Ruling 55-261
  • Cohen 38 TC 387
  • Revenue Ruling 76-80, 67 TC 481
  • Flemming TC MEMO 1980 583
  • Van Kalb TC MEMO 1978 366

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29 Responses:

 
Nancy Bond
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
19 Oct 2007 7:28:04 PM PST
My sister said I could, then when I asked my tax preparer she said no. I'm back to saving my receipts.Thank you, and I have to thank the saleslady for telling me about your website.

 
Chester Ayres
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
26 Oct 2007 6:40:54 PM PST
I'm not only intolerant to gluten but also to dairy, soy and now I think cinnamon, so I have to really watch what I eat. My job keeps me on the road over 225 days a year.

 
Sydney
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Oct 2009 4:23:14 PM PST
I am intolerant to gluten, dairy, soy, oil like butter and mayo...I think intolerance grows...still there is a lot to eat and enjoy...PF Chang's restaurant is wonderful to go out to eat... good luck

 
a. anderson
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said this on
29 Oct 2007 4:25:09 PM PST
I have just been diagnosed with this and find your web sites very knowledgeable.

 
suzanne evans
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said this on
12 Nov 2007 3:38:09 AM PST
I'm glad to see we can claim this food. It's not cheap. I only hope I can do it in my next taxes. I spend a lot on food and also I have Type 1 diabetes. It would help me a very much.
Thank you
Suzanne

 
Jenn
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
08 Dec 2007 2:16:45 PM PST
I'm new to the celiac diet. I went shopping for Gluten Free food today and was shocked by the high prices of everything. Glad to hear you can take a tax deduction, but you can only claim medical expenses if they are 5% of your salary for the year.

 
Peggy Bare
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
09 Feb 2008 7:06:50 AM PST
Thank You so much for putting this tax deduction info out here on your site. I have had Celiac for 2 yrs now and did not know this. Sometimes I don't purchase the foods I need because of the price. Now I will purchase the foods I need thanks to your article. I love your website.
God Bless You,
Peggy

 
Miss New
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said this on
26 Jun 2008 6:05:38 PM PST
Does anyone know if this is truly possible? I visited the irs.gov website, and could not find anything to confirm the above. This would be great.

 
miserere nobis
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said this on
13 Dec 2008 11:08:50 AM PST
I believe this is in reference to the use of an HSA or FSA account. Here is a link to the IRS website explaining Qualified Medical Expenses.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_publink100014757

Which states:
'You can deduct only the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (Form 1040, line 38). '

However with an HSA account you can debit anything that is labeled as a Qualified Medical Expense.

 
TOOKIE
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said this on
03 Feb 2009 3:04:18 PM PST
THANK YOU SO MUCH

 
Melisa Murray
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said this on
28 Mar 2009 4:18:16 PM PST
Thank you so much for information that even at a recent training I attended the presenter did not know the answer to the tax questions.

 
Mark Bogdany
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said this on
27 Jan 2010 11:44:44 AM PST
This article was GREAT!
Thank you!

 
Robby
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said this on
31 Jan 2010 6:29:51 AM PST
Thanks so much. Wasn't sure it was true. It's about we get a break!

 
Kate
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said this on
18 Feb 2010 7:50:03 AM PST
Excellent article and nice to share with other comments. Thanks!

 
patsy
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said this on
23 May 2010 10:55:59 PM PST
I was very pleased to hear I could deduct on my income tax. The food is very expensive. Sometimes we just look & don't buy because of the high prices. Thank you.

 
Yolanda Bucio
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said this on
21 Oct 2010 12:00:44 PM PST
THANK YOU SCOTT ADAMS!!!!!

 
parag
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
17 Jan 2011 2:21:13 AM PST
A qualified long-term-care policy is considered health insurance under the federal income tax rules.

 
Bill Gazica`
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
16 Mar 2011 1:14:15 PM PST
Too bad there isn't a flat deduction for the entire year to cover the cost of GF foods.

 
Cyndi
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said this on
30 Mar 2011 10:01:51 AM PST
You rock! I have set up a spreadsheet, with columns, indicating what was purchased, the date, the store the price of the G/F item and then what it would cost to purchase a "regular" item and then set a formula to calc the difference. I then keep a total by month. It is amazing to see it add up, and be able to deduct it at the end.

Your website is so helpful, it is saved as one of my favorites.

I was diagnosed and then I pushed to have my daughter tested as her Doc wanted to start her on growth hormone shots as she is very small. I fought it, and had her tested as it is in the genes. She tested positive. Since living gluten-free she has grown over 6" in less than a year!

 
Laura
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said this on
22 Dec 2011 4:36:15 AM PST
I would love a copy of your spreadsheet! I am not too good with making them, but love using spreadsheets!

 
Nutrition
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said this on
11 Apr 2011 12:44:43 AM PST
This site is really fascinating. You actually provide up some great points concerning your write-up… .. Regards for the particular very good important information regarding site.. That will be my newbie in this article inside this particular web site so great work…

 
Patsy
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said this on
21 Jul 2011 11:42:05 AM PST
Maybe Cyndi could share her spreadsheet form with this site for all to use..... (Re: she made a spreadsheet to keep up with GF Items purchased.)

 
helen
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said this on
27 Jul 2011 5:10:31 PM PST
Does insurance will pay for celiac disease foods?

 
Tira
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said this on
04 Oct 2011 9:51:52 AM PST
I am so pleased with having found this site and the newsletters! Thank you so much for all the help and advice. I am self diagnosed since we can not afford to see a regular doctor as many of my husband's jobs do not offer a benefit plan, and due to the fact we travel (he is a crane operator) finding GF products is iffy.

 
Celia Slagowski
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said this on
02 May 2012 8:37:03 AM PST
Would love to have a copy of that spreadsheet referred to by Cyndie 30 Mar 2011 as it would be so helpful to keep track of gluten free purchases. Wonderful article and advice. Any breaks appreciated. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

 
kate
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said this on
21 May 2012 8:27:34 PM PST
Great info on the taxes, as we didn't quite know what was what!

 
Mollie
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said this on
27 May 2013 10:01:35 PM PST
I would like to thank you so much for placing all this highly informative information to your website. I am 15 years old and have only recently discovered that I have celiac disease. My mum has found it very costly to completely change my diet to avoid gluten. This is very useful information as we have now had to completely change all of our eating habits and dietary requirements. Thank you greatly for your helpful information, I will without a doubt be referring this website to my friends with the disease also.

 
Nikki
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said this on
15 Feb 2015 3:37:33 PM PST
Hello, think anyone here could point me to Canadian resources for stuff like this? It seems like all the best celiac sites seem to be for residents in the US. I am trying to find some help here in Canada, I have been basically starving at the end of every month because I am on disability (I also suffer from Fibromyalgia) but it isn't enough. I am also having a really hard time finding a doctor that gives a crap about either of my problems so although I have been sick for 24 years I am only now just starting to know what to do...now if only I could afford to do it.

 
Cathy
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
27 Feb 2015 3:29:40 AM PST
I was not diagnosed a celiac but, I am gluten intolerant. Can I too write off the GF products as a medical expense? Has anyone actually accomplished this deduction on their tax returns?




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