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Howard J. Kass, CPA - February 16, 1999 on Tax Deductions for Celiacs

The information posted by Sandra Leonard that she received from the American Celiac Society was factually correct, and is essentially the same information that can be found in my article on Scott Adams Web site (www.celiac.com). I think it is important, though, to say that only a limited number of people are going to actually benefit from compiling all the information required to take the deduction because of the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code for deducting medical expenses.

In order to take a deduction for medical expenses, the total amount incurred, NET OF INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENTS, must exceed 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). In other words, if a taxpayer (and spouse, if applicable) had AGI of $80,000, they would have to accumulate over $6,000 of out-of-pocket medical expenses before they would realize any benefit at all.

In my practice, the only taxpayers who actually deduct medical expenses, because of the above limitations, are those who pay for their own health insurance, and those who had an extraordinary amount of medical expense that their insurance didnt cover. To summarize, the following individuals should consider compiling and deducting the cost of the gluten-free diet: Those who pay for their own health insurance, and those who had large, uninsured medical bills.

For most everyone else, such an exercise would, most likely, be an exercise in futility.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, e-mail me at: hkass@zinnerco.com

Howard J. Kass, CPA
Partner, Zinner & Co. LLP
29125 Chagrin Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44122
Tel: (216) 831-0733
Fax: (216) 765-7118

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4 Responses:

 
Marsha Crooks
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said this on
29 Oct 2007 12:04:02 PM PST
I appreciate your web site. My grandson just got diagnosed and it is not an easy adjustment. I have colitis and Crohn's so I can understand his frustration with not being able to eat certain foods, but we want to make sure we are doing the right thing for him.
Thank you for your wonderful web site!!!!!!

 
Denice J
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said this on
12 Feb 2008 4:35:05 PM PST
My family has an income of $40,000/yr after retirement and our medical insurance are pre-deducted and when we have kids in braces our medical expenses are easily over 7.5% of our adjusted gross income. I understand, however, that it is only the additional cost of gluten-free foods that is deductible, which means you have to research, document, and subtract what it would cost to buy the equivalent foods that are not gluten-free.

 
Christy Pace
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said this on
01 Apr 2008 7:22:34 PM PST
I was not aware that a person could deduct the increase in food costs for the required diet for Celiac Disease. I am not sure if I would meet the minimum amounts required but possibly it may be achievable. Thanks for the information regarding the tax deduction as it was very helpful.

 
christine
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said this on
03 May 2009 11:18:39 AM PST
So basically your saying if I have to buy flour and regular flour costs 2 dollars but gluten free flour costs 4 dollars I can use that 2 dollars I am paying extra as a deduction and that would go under my medical expenses.




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