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Tax deduction for special diets as ordered by docs for our kiddos


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I was unaware of this, but if you itemize, this may help you:


Special Diets

Many people do not realize that the additional costs of following a specifically prepared medical diet such as the gluten-free, casein-free diet can also be considered medical expenses. On March 24, 2011, the office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS issued a letter clarifying this issue.

“Specifically, the excess cost of specially prepared foods designed to treat a medical condition over the cost of ordinary foods which would have been consumed but for the condition is an expense for medical care…. Therefore, if a taxpayer can establish the medical purpose of the diet, such as through a physician’s diagnosis, then to the extent the cost of the food for the special diet exceeds the cost of the food that satisfies a taxpayer’s normal nutritional needs if the special diet were not required, the excess cost is an expense for medical care under section 213(d).”

Here is an example of a GFCF Diet Deductible Worksheet. You can also claim mileage expense for the trip to the health food store and postal costs on gluten-free products ordered by mail. Specific products used only for a gluten-free diet such as xanthan gum are 100% deductible. You should save all cash register tapes, credit card receipts, and canceled checks to substantiate your gluten-free and or casein-free purchases. You will need to prepare a list of typical foods at typical grocery store prices to arrive at the differences in costs. You need not submit your documentation or computations with your return, but do retain them with your other tax records.



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The key thing to keep in mind, is that anything ordered by a doctor that results in additonal costs is deductible as a medical expense. So, if you are trying a GFCF diet without a doctor's recommendations, it doesn't qualify.


Another general example would be if your children's allergist said to get dustmite allergy covers for their bedding, those covers are deductible.


If your children's allergist said you need to replace carpeting with hardwood floors save your reciepts and talk to a CPA (or better yet, talk to your CPA before you make that decision). Larger expenses that may affect the value of your home are treated differently than a current year tax expense.



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