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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Refunds are Only Given if Medical Expenses Exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income
IRS 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.