Celiac Tax Breaks

March 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

The outlook for those on a Gluten-Free diet has dramatically improved in recent years. With a raised awareness and more physicians’ recognizing the benefits of a Gluten-Free diet, strides are being made to make Gluten-Free foods more accessible and easier to purchase. However, even with the efforts being made the cost of maintaining a Gluten-Free diet can be higher. For this reason, the IRS allows those diagnosed with celiac disease the opportunity to deduct the additional costs on their taxes.Celiac disease is a medical condition; therefore the foods you purchase for your diet are considered a medical expense. To qualify to receive deductions for medical expenses, your medically related expenditures have to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Keep in mind that this can include the premiums you pay for medical insurance, co-pays, deductibles, and the cost of prescriptions. With careful record keeping of both your medical and Gluten-Free expenses, you may qualify for the following write-offs:

Additional Costs of Gluten-Free foods: You can deduct the difference between the cost of a Gluten-Free food item with a Gluten containing food that you are replacing. If you pay $4.00 for a box of Gluten-Free cereal and a comparable box of gluten containing cereal costs $2.00; you can deduct that $2.00 difference. This deduction requires saving receipts and having knowledge of the prices of the gluten containing food.

Full Deduction for Specialty Items:  The IRS allows you to deduct the full cost of any specialty items or ingredients you need to maintain a Gluten-Free diet. This could include special ingredients used in baking or cooking that would not be found in anything but Gluten-Free recipes.

Mileage Deduction:  You can deduct the mileage used to travel to specialty stores to purchase Gluten-Free foods. These deductions include 19 cents per mile, parking fees and tolls.

Delivery Expenses:  You may deduct the full cost of postage or delivery expenses for any Gluten-Free item you receive by mail order. With a growing number of people ordering Gluten-Free items online, this is a deduction that can add up quickly.

Educational Conferences for Celiac Disease: You may include the admission fees and transportation costs to attend conferences related to Celiac Disease. Although meals and lodging are not deductible, the IRS allows you to deduct the admission costs for yourself, a spouse, and your celiac dependent child.

It is important to note that not everyone will qualify for these deductions. You must have a letter from your physician stating that you have celiac disease and must be on a Gluten-Free diet for life. The letter does not need to be sent in with your itemized taxes. It should be kept on hand in case of an audit from the IRS. Obtaining a letter from your doctor and keeping track of all your Gluten-Free related expenses may take a little effort, but

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