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Tax Deduction For Celiacs!
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I'm not sure if this is the right board to post this on, but since it's tax season it's good to know!

 

I just discovered that certain items and costs related to celiac disease are TAX DEDUCTABLE! Isn't that awesome? I'm including a link from the Denver Celiac Support Group, with information on what you can deduct on your taxes. They are referencing IRS documentation, so I'm assuming this is for Federal tax filing. I'd check with your local tax office or accountant to make sure you can do this, but this is fantastic since gluten-free products are always more expensive!!

 

http://www.denverceliacs.org/taxdeductions.html

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I think you have to keep good records of the difference between the gluten version and the gluten-free version. So. - if a loaf of bread costs $3 and a loaf of gluten-free bread costs $6, you keep the receipt and some proof of the price of regular bread. Then $3 is your medical cost. And, your medical expenses have to be, I think, 10% of your AGI. I would have to eat a lot of bread for this to work for me.

I would read the tax guidelines very well and maybe consult a tax preparer.

 

 

 

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/2013-Changes-to-Itemized-Deduction-for-Medical-Expenses

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I understand that you may also be asked to say what percent of the gluten free food is consumed by others who do not have Celiac. Sounds like too much trouble for a possible tiny deduction.

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I looked into the tax deduction my first year gluten free when our family's grocery bill skyrocketed...it was too much documentation then and I doubt it has become any easier in the past four years.  Over the years we have greatly reduced the quantity of labeled gluten free items as our diet migrated to less and less processed foods.  The only items consistently in our cart that are labeled gluten-free at this point are bread and pasta, the difference of which is not significant enough to qualify even if I wanted to keep records.

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I recently did our 2013 taxes and talked to our tax lady about taking this and other medical deductions for 2014, since I have a lot of medical costs.  Things to know:

-To take a medical deduction it needs to exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.  I asked my tax preparer for a ballpark figure of what amount I would need to hit to see if it is even worth it.  We will be under but close and are going to keep records in case we do hit it..

- If the total of what you want to deduct is less than your standard deduction there is no point in doing itemized deductions.

-There is a lot of grey area and especially with a weird deduction like the gluten-free food stuff, you need to keep as accurate record of all your purchases as possible in case of an audit

 

The majority of people will not benefit from this deduction as it is unlikely to reach 10% of your AGI.  If you have a lot of other medical expenses or have a large family of gluten-free eaters and kids who get sick and rack up doctor bills, then this may be worth looking at.  One of the most common itemizations is property taxes and interest on a mortgage loan, if you don't own a house your 10%+ medical expenses may not add up with other things to surpass the amount of your standard deduction and it will not be worth itemizing.

 

 I am not an expert in this field so you should go to an experienced tax preparer (not someone who just took one course and fills out 1040EZ's for people at the place down the street) to do your 2013 taxes and get advice on what to do for 2014.

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I understand this may not be information that everyone can use, I just thought I'd post it in case someone wanted to talk to their tax person about it. As much as I pay in taxes, and as much as I pay my accountant to DO my taxes, this may be worth a shot. It's just FYI

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If you're already itemizing and already making it to the medical deduction and are into keeping the records, it may be something that's for you. It isn't something that makes sense for most people, but for a few it can be worth it.

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Good luck with that. My GI doc told me both people he wrote a medical note for were audited.

Sudden additions such as these are big red flags.

 

You have to have a huge amount in medical expenses, coupled with the cost of gluten-free food, and show the difference per item for every single

thing you buy. And if there are people in the home consuming the gluten-free items (sharing a pot of pasta for example), and they are NOT DXED celiacs, then you cannot deduct them

 

Believe me we all looked into it.

 

And I kept every stub and receipt during year one and by the time we added up the difference between the cost per ounce of gluten-free pasta vs. wheat pasta, etc etc....it was not worth it. We could have claimed practically NOTHING.

 

Unless you have major medical deductions, it will not make a dent. 

 

If you want to try it, go ahead, but the itemization of it...is absurd. Not worth it.

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And if there are people in the home consuming the gluten-free items (sharing a pot of pasta for example), and they are NOT DXED celiacs, then you cannot deduct them

That is the main thing my husband I are looking into.  I am getting all my other medical stuff like mileage to my hour drive doctor appointments all together and then I am going to take one last look at the gluten-free medical deductions before I can it for the year.  I don't eat a whole lot of gluten-free substitutes- the most I buy Id say is pasta and cereal, but I use a fairly small amount still and some of those are consumed by two people when I make our meals which are all gluten-free.  So although I am saving all my receipts and such for now, I am fairly certain I will not do that deduction for 2014.  

 

Now, I do know of a few people that have a huge family that all are Dx'ed Celiac, and I am sure in cases like those this benefits them well.  I just don't want to get audited, so anything that may be in a gray area I toss that idea.  No fun owing money to the IRS.  One year when we first got married and our two incomes pushed us into the higher tax bracket we owed about 3 grand.  The advice I got from everyone I talked to was to get the money anywhere in any way so I don't owe the IRS, that it is better to owe anyone else instead, haha.  Luckily we didn't have to beg borrow and steal for it, we made it out okay.

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We did it the first year, but it only worked because we had huge medical bills that year from all of the Dr visits and testing involved with our dx, plus my gallbladder surgery and a hospitalization for both kids. It was tedious and I almost didn't do it because my accountant warned me it would likely trigger an audit. We did not get audited, but I still have my mountain of receipts, just in case. Since all three of us were dx at the same time, it was a big initial expense, especially since in the beginning we relied alot more on gluten-free processed items. Now that we have the hang of it, gluten-free flour and pasta are the only two specialty items I regularly buy.

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