Tax Deductions for Gluten-Free Food

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It’s that time of year when people are doing their taxes.  I know some of you are on the ball and already have your tax returns sent in, but others of you will be heading to the post office on April 15th.

One question that often comes up at this time is whether the expense of gluten-free food is tax deductible.  The answer to that question is not a short one, but I will tell you my opinion up front:  For the majority of people, the expenses are not great enough or there would be very little return for the large amount of time and hassle it would require.

I am not going to go into all the details here, but I want to highlight a few key points on this topic.

  • You must have a doctors note.
  • You must keep records.
  • You can only deduct the difference in cost between a regular item and a gluten-free item, not the total amount of the gluten-free item.
  • You can deduct shipping costsimage
    The Biggest Deterrent:
    Only medical expenses not covered by insurance which are greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) are deductible.  For example, if you have an AGI of $50,000, your expenses must exceed $3,750, and you can only deduct the amount that does exceed that.
    People Who Might Benefit
    Low Income – If gluten free expenses are the only medical expenses that you are deducting, you have to have a low income to exceed the 7.5% and make it worth while.
    High Medical Expenses – If you do not have insurance or for some reason have very high out-of-pocket medical expenses that can be combined with your gluten-free expenses, it might be worth while for you.
    More Information:



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Comments

  1. I have been suffering from severe gas, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain and this weird itchy feeling especially in my hand and feet. The doctor has diagnosed me with diverticulitis although I have not had a colonoscopy. Any suggestions? My family seems to think it either gluten allergy or celiac.

    • yes, that sound like celiac or gluten allergy. I had almost simlar to this part and they wait 8 months which all failure and finally send me to specialist to do the test colonscopy and one going in throat (check heartburn/stomach). don’t wait too long. ask for other option dr.

  2. melissa says:

    Ket,

    It is my understanding that the only True Allergy to Gluten is Celiacs. Otherwise it is considered an intolerance. Personally I had gone on a strict rice/fruit only diet, after about 3 weeks of eating this way I decided I deserved a treat and had a pasta dish. Needless to say my entire body swelled up to what I would guess would be considered a minor anaphylactic shock sort of reaction and got violently sick. Took day’s to recover from this event. Went to my Dr. he said that was the BEST test he could have ever asked for me to do. It’s called the Process of elimination test. He said he has absolutely NO Doubt that I have Celiacs Disease and immediately marked my medical file as such. We were curious about one of our kids as well so just put him on a gluten free diet along with me, every time he would sneak a food with gluten his cheeks would puff up and turn very red, break out in a rash and begin behaving badly. So I talked with his pediatrician he and 2 other Dr’s. in the room all concurred that he most certainly had Celiacs and that they needn’t do any further testing, they also immediately pulled his file and marked it as such. I hope that you can figure out what is going on with you and hope that you can find a Dr. who can help you along this path to health and happiness. Oh, by the way I have never reacted well to gluten products my entire life and now we know why! I was also a failure to thrive baby, it just might all be linked somehow.

  3. melissa, Celiac’s is Gluten Intolerance not a gluten allergy.

  4. I have to add my two cents worth for anyone reading the comments-Celiac disease is an autoimmune reaction to gluten. It’s not simply an intolerance. And it IS considered an allergy too. those with “intolerance” to gluten also have uncomfortable reactions to gluten and can have fatigue and joint/muscle aches etc., but do not have any detectable (by blood test or biopsy) autoimmune reaction to gluten. They are not doing physical damage to their bodies by consuming gluten, “just” feeling like crap. Celiac disease can cause a whole slew of other chronic disease processes including osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, B12 deficiency, cancer, blindness, etc.

    • I would add that celiac testing may not always be accurate. Tests can be taken and read incorrectly resulting in a false negative. Or if someone is tested early it may not show up yet. So although someone may not formally have a celiac diagnosis, there could be an autoimmune reaction to gluten.

      Also, everything I’ve read indicates that celiac is not an allergy although a person might have an allergic reaction in addition to celiac.

      Thanks for your two cents!

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