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

    Scott Adams

    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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    Guest Nancy Bond

    Posted

    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.

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    Guest Chester Ayres

    Posted

    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.

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    Guest a. anderson

    Posted

    I have just been diagnosed with this and find your web sites very knowledgeable.

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    Guest suzanne evans

    Posted

    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

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    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.

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    Guest Peggy Bare

    Posted

    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

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    Guest Miss New

    Posted

    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.

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    Guest miserere nobis

    Posted

    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.

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    Guest Melisa Murray

    Posted

    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.

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