Is certain peanut-free food a tax deduction?

Posted on: Tue, 10/17/2006 - 7:43am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

A friend of mine with celiac disease just joined the Celiac Foundation. ([url]http://www.celiac.org[/url]). Today she received her package of information. Celiac Foundation says that if the person's celiac disease has been properly diagnosed by a doctor, that the gluten free food is tax deductible, as is the mileage to and from the grocery store.

If this is the case for celiacs, then wouldn't certain foods be tax deductible for us? It seems that any food you buy from places that specifically claim to be peanut-free would be a tax deduction. For example, I buy Allerenergy bars for when I travel.

Does anyone have any information on this?
Thanks,
Adele

Posted on: Tue, 10/17/2006 - 8:26am
krasota's picture
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Joined: 04/24/2000 - 09:00

Personally, I don't know of anyone who has successfully obtained this deduction. You see, bread isn't *necessary*. There are entirely adequate non-bread options: rice, corn tortillas, quinoa, etc.
I'm pretty sure that Allerenergy bars couldn't be proven to be medically necessary when carrots and beans would suffice just fine.
ygg

Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2006 - 3:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Peanutfree food is not specialty food. It is regular food that has not been processed with peanuts.
You can go and buy a loaf of bread. You don't have to pay double the price to buy a loaf that is made without gluten. You might [i]chose[/i] to buy a loaf that's double the price -- but that's very different then needing to.
The gluten free food is only covered for the actual person with celiac - not the entire family. (Most people with pa buy pf food for the entire family.) Talk to your friend about how much the food staples cost her.
******
I'm not sure how much is different between Canada and the US. But, the deduction here is for the difference between the *regular* cost and the *gluten free* cost. And then, it's only if the cost is over a certain percentage of your income (same as all medical deductions) and then you get a small portion of it back. There really isn't a difference in price between a *regular* loaf of bread and a *pf* loaf of bread - so therefore, nothing to deduct.
I've never heard of gas to the store being covered. Maybe that's because you have to go to a specific store to make the purchases (not available in grocery store).

Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2006 - 7:55am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

I found this on the irs website:
"You can include the cost of special food in medical expenses only if:
The food does not satisfy normal nutritional needs,
The food alleviates or treats an illness, and
The need for the food is substantiated by a physician.
The amount you can include in medical expenses is limited to the amount by which the cost of the special food exceeds the cost of a normal diet."
Cathy

Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2006 - 8:14am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

My friend said the package she received from the Celiac Foundation included papers on how to claim the deduction and information on what to tell the IRS if you are audited.
I understand what everyone is saying about peanut-free food not being 'special needs' food, but I don't see much difference betwen gluten-free and peanut-free food!

Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2006 - 11:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by Adele:
[b] but I don't see much difference betwen gluten-free and peanut-free food!
[/b]
Check the price. That's the difference. Double the price of peanut-free food and you will be approaching the price of gluten-free food.

Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2006 - 2:40pm
shoshana18's picture
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Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

the cost of this food (when deductible) is part of medical expenses on schedule A (i believe it's schedule A). and medical expenses have to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. so unless you have a lot of other out-of-pocket medical expenses, you most likely won't even come close on deductibility.

Posted on: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 10:40am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

I understand - but as krasota pointed out, beans and carrots are cheap and not only peanut-free, but gluten-free.

Posted on: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 4:59pm
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Um . . . duh . . . Sunbutter. And shipping Sunbutter.
arm & leg & stuff
I know it's not much, but that's the most real comparison I can find. I (or DS) don't technically [i] need[/i] VMF chocolate or butterscotch or white chocolate (well, I personally need the latter two way more than the first), but Sunbutter---yes, that would qualify as my DS' need.
Frankly, it wouldn't be enough each year to deal with. We buy 2, maybe 3, of the giant Sunbutter containers each year.
It's the principal.
But that's the only thing I can really think of. The Cherrybrook Kitchen stuff is a want, not a need (we can make that stuff at home--just not as easily). We just don't buy that much other stuff. Oh-those wonderful cookies and carmel popcorn--Divvies. Also a want. Altough I might beg to differ on the carmel popcorn. I can't really make that with my skills on my own. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
But having Sunbutter or Peabutter or even Soybutter--sure, that's a fit here.

Posted on: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 12:03am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

How about Allerenergy bars for people that spend a lot of time travelling, like me. I can't think of anything else that is nutritious, easy to carry, not a liquid or a gel and peanut-free! They're also pricey

Posted on: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:40am
ajgauthier's picture
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Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Adele:
[b]How about Allerenergy bars for people that spend a lot of time travelling, like me. I can't think of anything else that is nutritious, easy to carry, not a liquid or a gel and peanut-free! They're also pricey
[/b]
the shipping is pricey for sure, but the cost of the actual bars is actually less than some protein bars on the market now (the ones we can't eat) in the stores.
------------------
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

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