How to Get Tax Deductions for Food

by eHow Personal Finance Editor

If you have celiac disease where you must avoid eating gluten, you may be able to claim the expense of gluten free foods on your tax return. Read further to see if you might qualify for a tax deduction for your gluten free food purchases.

Obtain an official diagnosis from your doctor in writing that you have celiac disease. Without that you cannot claim a tax deduction.

Save all your records of gluten free purchases, including grocery receipts and canceled checks. Then compile a list of the regular cost of all the gluten free items you've bought. For example, if regular wheat flour costs $1.99 and your gluten free flour costs $3.99, then you can only claim the difference between the two prices: $2.00.

Note that in order to claim a tax deduction for medical expenses (including any gluten-free food purchases), your expenditures must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income minus any insurance reimbursements. For example, if you have an adjusted gross income of $50,000 a year, then your total medical expenditures must exceed $3,750 in order to claim a tax deduction and use the gluten-free food expenses.

Try using your insurance's flexible spending account. If you have medical coverage and likely cannot claim a tax deduction for the cost of your gluten free food, your employer's Flexible Spending Plan may allow reimbursement for the cost of gluten free food.

Be persistent if you're researching whether your Flexible Spending Plan will cover the cost of gluten free foods. Your human resources department may not know if the expenses are covered. Contact the provider if necessary until you get a definite answer from someone whether you can get reimbursed for your gluten-free food.

Warning

  • As a result of the 7.5 percent requirement, it's likely that many people with celiac disease won't be able to claim the cost of gluten-free food through their tax return unless they have no medical insurance or have no coverage for a particular condition and must spend their own money for medical care.