Celiac Disease Tax Deduction Guidelines
It’s no secret that individuals who have been diagnosed with celiac disease incur much higher expenses when it comes to purchasing their food. Combine that with the cost of daily supplements and other gastrointestinal medications, and the annual expenses for a diagnosed celiac can be quite cumbersome.
If you, or one of your dependents has celiac disease and you itemize your deductions, the extra costs associated with gluten-free dietary restrictions may be taken as a medical expense on your tax return.
Here are the IRS guidelines for celiac disease tax deductions:
- You may deduct the cost of gluten-free food that is in excess of the cost of the gluten containing food that you are replacing. For example, if a loaf of gluten-free bread costs $7.00 and a comparable loaf of gluten containing bread costs $3.50, you may include the excess cost of $3.50 in your medical expenses.
- The full cost of special items needed for a gluten-free diet may be deducted. An example is the cost of xanthan gum, commonly used used in gluten-free home baked items, which is completely different than anything used in a standard recipe.
- If you make a special trip to a specialty store to purchase gluten-free foods, the actual cost of your transportation to and from the store is deductible. If you used your vehicle for the trip during the year 2010, you may deduct 16.5 cents per mile for 2010. If you use your vehicle for this purpose during 2011, you may deduct 19 cents per mile. You may also include tolls and parking fees.
- The full cost of postage or other delivery expenses for gluten-free foods made by mail order are also deductible.
If you are one of the lucky individuals to be audited, you may need to provide the IRS with a letter from your doctor indicating that you have celiac disease. You will also need proof of the expenses in the form of receipts, as well as a schedule showing of how you computed your deductions for the gluten-free foods.
The total amount of your deduction for gluten-free foods should be added to your other medical expenses that are reported on Schedule A of your form 1040. Do not include your doctor’s letter, your receipts or your schedule showing how you computed your deduction. These documents should be save and submitted only if you are audited by the IRS.
In addition, you can also deduct medical education expenses. According to IRS Publication 502, “…you may include expenses for admission and transportation to a medical conference relating the chronic disease of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent (if the costs are primarily for and essential to the medical care).” This rule also includes the registration of yourself, your spouse and your celiac dependent. However, you may not deduct the costs for meals and lodging while attending the medical conference.
If you would like to download a tax deduction worksheet for individuals with celiac disease, visit the Celiac Disease Foundation’s website at www.celiac.org.
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