Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Gluten Free Diet Tax Deductible?

Here is some useful information I thought i would pass along to my readers.  I wasn't aware of this and I hope it helps.

1.  You may deduct the cost of gluten free  food that is in "excess" of the cost of the gluten containing food that you are replacing.  For example, if a loaf of gluten free bread costs $6.00 and a comparable loaf of gluten containing bread costs $3.00, you may include in your medical expenses the excess cost of $3.00.

2.   The full cost of specialty items needed for a gluten free diet may be deducted.  An example is the cost of "Xanthan Gum" (methyl cellulose) used in GF home baked items, which is" out of the ordinary" anything used in an regular gluten  recipe

3.   If you make a "special" trip to a specialty store to purchase gluten free foods, the actual cost of your transportation to and from the store is deductible.  If you are using your vehicle for the trip during the year 2009, you may deduct 24 cents per mile. You can include tolls and parking fees.

4. The full cost of postage or other delivery expenses for GF purchases made by mail order are deductible. If you are audited you may need a letter from your doctor indicating that you have Celiac Disease and must adhere to a gluten free diet for life.  You will also need substantiation of the expenses in the form of receipts, cash register tapes or cancelled checks for your gluten free purchases and a schedule showing how you computed your deductions for the gluten free foods.

The total amount of your deduction for gluten free foods should be added to your other medical expenses that are reported on Schedule A of your form 1040.  (Do not include your doctor’s letter, your receipts or your schedule showing how you computed your deduction.)  Save these documents which should be submitted only in the event you are audited by the IRS or your state’s taxing authority.

IRS Publication 502 provides that “…you may include expenses for admission and transportation to a medical conference relating the chronic disease of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent (if the costs are primarily for and essential to the medical care).”  This has been ruled to include the registration of yourself, your spouse and your celiac dependent. However, you may not deduct the costs for meals and lodging while attending the medical conference.

If an auditor questions the deduction, refer the auditor to IRS ruling 2000-24 and IRS Publication 502.

Information provided by the Celiac Disease Foundation (

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