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Jeremiah

Celiac Disease Food Tax Write Off Question

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I have heard that it is allow to write off our taxes the additional cost of food associated with our disease. Can someone explain exactly what a person needs to do? Is it necessary to itemize all receipts of food? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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It's a grey area of the tax code.

In theory, with a doctor's note the price difference between gluten-free and non-gluten-free foods, and the full price of any "unique to gluten-free cooking foods" (like, xanthum gum) can be included in the medical expenses deduction, which can only be taken if your medical expenses total at least 7.5% of your gross income. (So, if you're gross income (before tax is taken out) is $50k, you need to have medical expenses of at least $3,750, out of pocket.)

In practice, it is apparently one of the red flags for giving someone an audit.

Some accountants, apparently, question the legality of the tax deduction as specialty food is not REQUIRED for survival (as in, you can live on fruit, vegetables, meat, etc. without needing bread).

I would strongly encourage you to talk to a tax professional on the issue before trying to work out the deduction, if you qualify.

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Here's another article highlighting food deductions but as Tiffany said you'd have to have substaintal medical expenses to exercise the option.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/279/1/Tax-D...Only/Page1.html

My friend is an accountant and we have talked at lengths about this. It is correct that you cannot write off the first 7.5 % on taxes, BUT you CAN take the deduction on a HSA. The same rules apply, but you do not need to meet the 7.5%. For example, I can keep track for a month of all of the food I buy and then at the end of the month, refund myself that amount. It is already pre-tax so I still get the benefits w/o the minimum. One other thing to be aware of...I was able to write off specific things I got to replace glutened things. For example, I bought a new breadmaker and a toaster oven. I also believe the books that I bought are tax deductable as well. The gas used for trips specifically to specialty stores and shipping for online orders is also deductible. Good luck!

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