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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

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

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

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


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    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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    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.

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    You rock! I have set up a spreadsheet, with columns, indicating what was purchased, the date, the store the price of the gluten-free 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!

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    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…

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    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 gluten-free products is iffy.

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    You rock! I have set up a spreadsheet, with columns, indicating what was purchased, the date, the store the price of the gluten-free 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!

    I would love a copy of your spreadsheet! I am not too good with making them, but love using spreadsheets!

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  • About Me

    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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