If a doctor says you have celiac disease, the difference in price between gluten-free and regular food can be deducted from your taxes. Shipping costs of gluten-free purchases made online are also covered.
Since a recent study showed that gluten-free foods cost almost two and a half times as much as normal food, you should make use of every bit of savings you can find. It also makes a person wonder if these inflated prices are just price-gouging by food companies that are taking advantage of people who would become sicker if they didn’t have these alternatives, or of people who buy gluten-free just to be trendy.
It’s estimated that of the 3 million Americans with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by exposure to gluten – a protein component of wheat, barley, and rye – only 3% have been diagnosed. The good news for celiac patients who have been diagnosed is that the treatment for their condition is simple and doesn’t require the ingestion of drugs – a gluten-free diet. Unfortunately, celiac patients must deal with several challenges in maintaining a diet free of gluten, specifically the expenses involved. Compared with “regular” gluten-containing foods, gluten-free alternatives are more expensive. In fact, a study has indicated that gluten-free foods cost more than double their gluten-containing counterparts.
In a study by the Dalhousie Medical School at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, prices were compared between food products labeled as “gluten-free” with comparable gluten-containing food products at two large-sized chain grocery stores. Unit prices of the food items in dollars per 100 grams were calculated for this purpose. According to the study, all the 56 gluten-free products were more expensive than their corresponding products. The average unit price for gluten-free products was found to be $1.71, compared with $0.61 for the gluten-containing products. This means that gluten-free products were 242% more expensive than gluten-containing items.
Fortunately, celiac patients can receive tax deductions for certain expenses related with their gluten-free diet. To receive these benefits, celiacs must provide a doctor’s note confirming their celiac diagnosis and save their receipts for all their gluten-free foods and other products they purchase. The difference between the prices of gluten-free items compared to those of regular items is tax-deductible. Products that don’t have a gluten-containing counterpart, such as xanthan gum and sorghum flour, are totally tax-deductible. Shipping costs for online orders of gluten-free items are also tax-deductible. In order to file your claim, you should fill out a 1049 schedule A for medical deductions. For more information, contact a qualified accountant. And for more tips, read on.