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 costs
- 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:
- Is the Tax Deduction for Gluten Free Food Worth the Hassle? – This is an excellent Gluten Free Cooking School article written by a CPA. It takes you step by step through figuring out if it is worth while for you.