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Gluten-Free? You Might Qualify for a Tax Deduction!

R&G Brenner Tax Preparers

As a person living with Celiac Disease, it probably took you a long time—maybe even years—to get a diagnosis of this condition, which prevents the body from processing and digesting the protein gluten. In recent years, the push to recognize the importance of a gluten-free diet has vindicated many people suffering from Celiac Disease. With so many restaurants and grocery stores selling foods marketed specifically toward the gluten-free set, it has become easier for people to live with this disease and feel healthier as a result. Now there’s another benefit: taxpayers with Celiac Disease could qualify for a tax deduction as a result. Keep reading to find out if you qualify for this deduction and how to take advantage of it if you do.

How to Benefit: Get Proof

These potential tax deductions are designed to help allay the expenses that come with needing to buy gluten-free foods and products, which can cost significantly more than their glutinous counterparts. A lot goes into obtaining this tax deduction, though, which requires dedication and effort for documentation purposes. Providing evidence of your claim is perhaps the most important: get a doctor’s note with a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, advises Celiac Central. Once you have that, you can proceed to the other steps.

Save All Documents and Receipts

In addition to obtaining a doctor’s note, you’ll need to save your receipts for all gluten-free products you purchase throughout the year. You will need proof of purchase regardless of whether you bought the food at a regular grocery store or a specialty bakery shop. As per the tax regulations, the deduction applies only to the price difference between the gluten-free products and the traditional option. So, for instance, if you were to buy rice flour for $3, and regular wheat flour costs $1, you could deduct the $2 difference in price for this item.

You can also get reimbursed for shipping costs and travel costs to and from the store. Every time you use your car to go to the market for gluten-free foods, write down the mileage and save it. This year’s mileage deduction for transportation is 23 cents on the mile. Parking costs and toll fees are also accepted. Documenting all these expenses can get pretty time consuming, but it’s the best way to ensure you’ll be reimbursed.

Get Ready for Tax Time

When it comes time to file your taxes, you’ll need to fill out the 1040 Schedule A form. Keep in mind you are only eligible for this refund if your total medical expenses exceed 10 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI. If you are getting your taxes done by a tax professional, s/he can advise you further on details of this gluten-free deduction.  If you need a tax professional, please feel free to contact R&G Brenner.

If you decide to take advantage of this tax deduction, it’s wise to start documenting your expenditure and collecting receipts throughout the rest of this year to take advantage of the deduction on next year’s taxes. While you can certainly benefit from this deduction, you and/or your tax pro will have to determine if the potential reward of the reimbursement is worth your time and dedication to record all the necessary documents.