Diet and Taxes

It’s important to know there are some ways to save money at the end of the year, and one is by claiming the extra expenses associated with your condition-related diet in your taxes. Tax deductions for a gluten-free diet are dependent on your income level. To see if you qualify, ask a financial advisor or look to community resources in your area to get connected to someone who can help.

What can I claim?

  • The added costs of your prescribed diet.
  • The added costs of your diet-specific foods if the annual total is greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). For example, if the bread you need to buy is $3 more than a comparable loaf of bread, and your extra costs for the year are $5,000, compared with 7.5% of your AGI, which is $4,000, you can claim $1,000 under Medical Expenses.
  • The full amount of other food and items that are specifically for a gluten-free diet (such as xanthan gum, gluten-free flour, gluten-free oats, gluten-free crackers and breads).
  • Transportation costs (both ways) when special trips are made to the store to obtain gluten-free food and supplies; this includes parking fees and tolls. You are able to claim 16 cents per mile of travel.
  • The full cost of postage and/or delivery fees of gluten-free foods and other items.

How do I do it?

You must include an itemized description of these expenses on your tax form (Form 1040, Schedule A).

  • Obtain a letter from your doctor that confirms your diagnosis and prescribed diet to treat your condition, and include with your tax return.
  • Keep track of trips made to and from the store to obtain gluten-free items.
  • Keep receipts, take pictures of receipts, highlight gluten-free items throughout the year.
  • Subtract the cost of a comparable item in the store at the time of purchase.
  • Add up all expenses for the year, and enter the amount that exceeds 7.5% of your AGI.
  • If you need further guidance on this, talk to your accountant or look for free or reduced cost financial advising in your community.

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