Saturday, August 14, 2010

Never thought the IRS would ever be of assistance to anyone!

Our youngest was recently hospitalized. While he was there I was able to take advantage of Seattle Children's Resource Center library. I found the following good book.
Kids with Celiac Disease:  A family guide to raising happy, healthy, gluten-free children by Danna Korn 

I especially found the information on Income Tax deductions p. 210 
Very interesting. She states:
     "Considering what it can cost to keep your child on a gluten-free diet, it       would be nice if you could write some of the extra cost off, would it not?  In fact, The IRS does allow some deductions for people with dietary restrictions."

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, there are 4 areas that qualify.
1.     The law says that the additional expense of special dietary products may be deducted. For instance, if a regular loaf of bread costs $2.50 and gluten-free is $4.50 then the $2 difference may be deducted. Special gluten-free mixes, pastas and many other items may also qualify.
2.     The full cost of special items needed for a GF diet may be deducted. The cost of xanthan gum, (methyl cellulose), for instance may be deducted, because it is used GF home-baked items, but is completely different from anything used in an ordinary recipe.
3.     If you make a special trip to a specialty store to purchase GF foods, the actual cost of your transportation to and from the store is deductible. If you are using your personal vehicle for the trip, you will need to check with IRS for current mileage deduction amounts.
4.     The full cost of postage or other delivery expenses on gluten-free purchases made by mail order are deductive.

* The total amount of your deduction for GF foods should be added to your other medical expenses. 
* You will need to keep records. Grocer receipts, shipping invoices, billing statements, to name a few.
* Mileage log not need to be submitted with yearly tax form but kept in your records in the event of audit.
* A letter from your/child's physician stating that this is a life altering illness. Keep a copy for your records. A yearly letter is not needed but it could not hurt either.

I found this wonderful news! I drive weekly more than 40 miles a week extra for grocery shopping. Hope to be back to cooking in a few days. Thanks for being patient why our little guy was in the hospital and while we were back in West Virginia.

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