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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    HOWARD J. KASS, CPA - FEBRUARY 16, 1999 ON TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR CELIACS


    Howard J. Kass, CPA

    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.


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    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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    Guest Marsha Crooks

    Posted

    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!!!!!!

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    Guest Denice J

    Posted

    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.

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    Guest Christy Pace

    Posted

    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.

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    Guest christine

    Posted

    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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    Howard J. Kass, CPA
    This is a good summary of the proper tax treatment for the additional costs of complying with a gluten-free diet, under a doctors direction. Let me offer a couple of points of clarification and amplification.
    Revenue Ruling 76-80 is more on point in that it specifically discusses the deductibility of the additional costs one incurs in purchasing a special form of a product versus the normal cost of the non-special version.
    Additionally, if one has to purchase items that they would not otherwise purchase if not for the underlying medical condition (such as xanthan gum) then the full cost of such items are deductible.
    It is important to point out that one of the requirements for deducting a medical expense is that the expenditure must be incurred to treat or alleviate a specific medical condition. It is necessary, then, to establish to the IRS that such a medical condition exists. This is best done by a letter of verification from your doctor. This requirement obviously places a celiac in the position of having to obtain a medical diagnosis in order to deduct the additional costs of following a gluten-free diet.
    As far as the mechanics of the deduction are concerned, you must first establish the amount of your excess costs associated with the gluten-free diet. This is done by maintaining detailed records of your purchases, as well as maintaining records of comparable normal products, accumulating those costs and subtracting the costs of the normal versions of those products over the tax year in question. The deduction would then be taken as a medical deduction on schedule A of form 1040. To obtain the benefit of the deduction, then, you must first be able to itemize deductions, and you must have enough non-reimbursed medical expenses to exceed the threshold of 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income. The amount by which your aggregate medical expenses, including the additional cost of a gluten-free diet, exceed that threshold amount would be deductible.
    Does anyone have any experiences or rulings on the legality of deducting as a medical expense the costs for attending a CSA/USA seminar?
    IRS publication 502 (Medical and Dental expense handbook) does not give any specific examples for seminars, but they do ok the cost of special schools for medical or physical reasons. I can rationalize the cost of a Celiac seminar as a medical education expense.
    According to Internal Revenue Code Section 213, travel expenses that may be deducted are those primarily for and essential to medical care . . .
    Regulation 1.213-1(e)(1)(i) defines medical care as the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.
    Depending upon how aggressive or conservative one wishes to be, one could interpret this to mean that meetings that educate individuals in the prevention of a disease are expenses incurred in the mitigation or prevention of disease. All of the case law that I saw dealt with travel to warmer climates, not to medical meetings and conventions.
    Some practitioners might be inclined to take a somewhat aggressive approach and play the audit lottery, while advising their clients that there is risk in taking the deduction. Before taking a deduction, however, it is only prudent to consult with your tax advisor.
    Obviously, this discussion only pertains to taxpayers in the United States.
    I understand that this can be quite confusing. My best advice is to contact your tax advisor. I would be willing to answer questions of a general nature. If I dont answer immediately, please be patient. You can E-mail me at: hkass@zinnerco.com.
    I do have the full text of the two Rev. Rulings mentioned above, as well as the two court cases, but the files are large (about 20K each) and I am unsure of what the copyright law allows as far as distributing this information. The materials are copyrighted.
    Hope this helps clarify (rather than confuse) some of the tax issues.

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    Connie Sarros
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