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Are You Due For a Gluten-free Tax Break?
Celiac.com 03/21/2014 - According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, the burden of celiac disease can cost an extra $1,000 to $2,500 per year. However, many people who eat gluten-free diets as treatment for celiac disease or other medical conditions are eligible for tax breaks.
Those who do eat gluten-free due to medical conditions will be happy to learn that both the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Agency list gluten-free food as an eligible medical expense. That means that filers may be eligible for tax relief for gluten-free-related food expenses.
For example, according to the Canada Revenue Agency website, celiac disease suffers are "entitled to claim the incremental costs associated with the purchase of gluten-free products as a medical expense." That means Canadians with celiac disease can claim the difference between the cost of their gluten-free food and the cost of comparable regular food. However, there are a few hoops to jump through. To claim the credit, Canadian taxpayers need a doctor's letter confirming celiac disease; a receipt for every item claimed; and a summary for each item calculating the cost differential for gluten-free products.
U.S. residents can deduct the extra cost for gluten-free foods and goods purchased to meet celiac dietary needs. Shipping and delivery costs for those gluten-free products can also be deducted. Also, for any special trip to purchase gluten-free foods, the cost of transportation to and from the store is deductible, including mileage, tolls and parking fees. The vehicle deduction for trips during 2013 is 24 cents per mile.
To claim these deductions, taxpayers first need an official, written celiac diagnosis from a doctor. A copy of this diagnosis must be submitted with other completed tax forms.
Taxpayers will then complete form 1040 schedule A for medical deductions. For reference taxpayers may cite: IRS Publication 502; Revenue Rulings: 55-261, 76-80, 2002-19 and 67 TC 481; Cohen 38 TC 387; Flemming TC MEMO 1980 583; and Van Kalb TC MEMO 1978 366
This must be supported with copies of receipts for all gluten-free purchases, along with lists of prices for gluten-free food and regular counterparts being claimed.
The difference between those prices is tax-deductible. For example, if a pound of wheat flour costs $0.60 and a pound of rice flour costs $3.40, then you may deduct $2.80 for each pound of rice flour you are claiming for that tax year.
Remember, some specialty products like xanthan gum and sorghum flour are fully tax-deductible as they have no "regular" counterpart but are purchased to meet your dietary needs.
Of course, for specific advice, contact an accountant.
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Flexible Spending Accounts and Celiac Disease by Dwight Senne
This article appeared in the Autumn 2004 edition
of Celiac.... [READ MORE]
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.... [READ MORE]
Howard J. Kass, CPA - 1998 on Tax Deductions for Celiacs
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.... [READ MORE]
Tax Deduction for Gluten-Free Foods as a Medical Expense for Diagnosed Celiacs Only
The following guidelines were received from the Oct.... [READ MORE]
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
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