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Gluten-Free Eating... A Tax Write-Off?

April 12 2012 - 3:31 PM

Is your food a tax write-off? It might be if you’ve been eating gluten-free. You can deduct the difference in price between a gluten-free food item and its “regular” equivalent. So if you’re paying $6 for a loaf of gluten-free bread and a regular loaf of wheat bread is $2.00 you can deduct the excess cost with your itemized medical expenses. You can also deduct the cost of specialty items, postage and transportation costs to specialty stores. You will also need proof that you are Celiac or medically require a gluten-free diet. A worksheet and more information can be found on the celiac.org website.

If your entire family is eating gluten-free the costs can really add up. Sounds easy enough but is it really worth the hassle? I asked that question to a couple of people I know that eat gluten-free for medical reasons. One was even an accountant. None of them have considered doing it. First of all there is a lot of paperwork involved. Most people don’t have the time or patience for saving receipts and calculating the cost differences. Secondly, out-of-pocket medical expenses are only deductible once they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income and then only that amount in excess of the 7.5% is the itemized deduction. So while it sounds good, in the end it may not be worthwhile.

–Stacy Kenny