It’s no secret that gluten-free packaged food is oftentimes more expensive than its gluten-containing counterparts, but did you know you might be eligible for a tax deduction to help make up the difference?
If you have never filed for a tax deduction for your gluten-free food purchases, there are some important things you should know before you do:
- You Need an Official Diagnosis to be Eligible
Many people are eating gluten-free for a variety of reasons, but only those with an official diagnosis with a gluten-related disorder will be eligible for a tax deduction. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor for a gluten-free diet as your treatment option as well.
- Keep Track of Your Food Purchases the Entire Year
In order to receive the tax deduction, you’ll have to calculate the difference between the cost of gluten-free alternatives vs. the cost of gluten-containing foods. For example, if you purchase gluten-free crackers for $4.50 and traditional crackers cost $2.50, you’ll only be able to claim the difference: $2This will need to be done throughout the year as you purchase gluten-free food. Since you will have a lot of purchases to keep track of, some have recommended using a spreadsheet to help keep track of all of the figures.Everyone rule has exceptions! Visit the Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to see which types of gluten-free food are eligible for a full refund.
- Refunds are Only Given if Medical Expenses Exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross IncomeIRS rules dictate that refunds for medical expenses will be granted only if they are over 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) (the total gross income, minus specific reductions). Turbo Tax gives a great example for determining if your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your AGI.
Once you figure out if you’re eligible for a tax deduction, the last step is moving forward and filing your claim. NFCA’s Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products also provides more information on the specific IRS tax forms, rulings and publication reference numbers you’ll need to file.
Author Information: NFCA Staff
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to driving diagnoses of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders and improving the quality of life for those on a lifelong gluten-free diet.