Living with celiac disease or gluten allergies can be challenging, as it involves avoiding gluten-based meals. While there are great gluten-free diet alternatives available, they tend to be more expensive and are often found in upscale health food stores and restaurants. This can put a financial burden on individuals and families dealing with these dietary restrictions. However, during tax time.
Tax Credits and Support for Gluten-Free Diet Expenses: Relief for Those with Celiac Disease
Living with celiac disease or gluten allergies can be challenging. Avoiding gluten-based meals is essential, but it’s not always easy. The good news is that there are excellent gluten-free food alternatives in the market. However, the bad news is that gluten-free food comes with an economic burden. It is usually more expensive, and availability is highest in upscale health food stores and restaurants.
Purchasing these costly alternatives regularly can accumulate significant expenses throughout the year. With rising food costs due to inflation, managing celiac disease can pose a challenge for families across the country. However, there’s a silver lining. Tax time provides an opportunity to recoup some of those food expenses.
Since individuals with celiac disease need to spend more on food for health and medical reasons, the Canadian government has implemented a program to alleviate some of the financial burden. Below, we’ve addressed some common questions regarding tax credits and support available for gluten-free expenses.
Claiming Gluten-Free Food Expenses: A Guide to Tax Deductions
To claim your gluten-free food expenses as medical expenses, some preparation and organization throughout the year are required. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process and maximize your tax return.
- Confirm Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the criteria for claiming gluten-free food expenses and that it aligns with your doctor’s recommendations. You’ll need to submit a form and a letter from a medical practitioner confirming the diagnosis of celiac disease and the necessity of a gluten-free diet.
- Documentation: Keep receipts for each gluten-free food product you intend to claim. It’s recommended to save the original receipt in a designated folder and also take a photo as a backup on your computer or in a secure digital storage.
- Maintain a Summary: Keep a record of each gluten-free food product purchased throughout the year that you plan to claim. Include the incremental cost compared to its conventional counterpart. This information will be necessary for calculating your claim.
- Incremental Cost Calculation: The amount you can claim depends on the additional cost incurred by purchasing gluten-free alternatives. For example, if gluten-free pasta costs $4.00 per box while its durum-wheat version is $1.00, you can claim the incremental cost of $3.00.
- Example Calculation: Consider the following scenario for illustrative purposes:Food product: Bread Number of products bought (for the 12-month period): 52 Average cost of product with gluten: $3.49 Average cost of gluten-free product: $6.99 Incremental cost: $6.99 – $3.49 = $3.50 Amount to claim: $3.50 x 52 = $182.00*Chart sourced from the Canada Revenue Agency
- Individual Claim: Remember that gluten-free food expenses can only be claimed for the person diagnosed with a gluten allergy. If you prepare and serve gluten-free meals for the entire family, you can only claim the portion consumed by the individual with celiac disease.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your gluten-free food expenses are properly claimed as medical expenses, helping to alleviate some of the financial burden associated with managing celiac disease.
Which foods can I claim?
You can claim food expenses for items that are specifically marketed as gluten-free when shopping. These include a variety of products such as premade breads, pastas, crackers, and baking supplies like rice flour and gluten-free spices. While these examples cover a range of options, it’s important to note that the list is not exhaustive, and you should consult the Canada Revenue Agency or a tax professional for specific guidelines and eligibility criteria.
Exploring Beyond Food Expenses: The Disability Tax Credit for Celiac Disease
For individuals living with celiac disease, the challenges extend beyond the burden of purchasing gluten-free diet. The impact of this severe gluten allergy can be debilitating if left unmanaged. Thankfully, there are additional measures that can provide financial relief.
The Canadian government acknowledges celiac disease as a lifelong medical condition that requires dietary management. However, the high costs of gluten-free foods can create barriers to accessing necessary nutrition, forcing some individuals with celiac disease to consume gluten-containing foods that pose serious long-term health risks.
To alleviate this financial strain, individuals with celiac disease may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. This tax credit is designed to reduce the amount of income tax paid and provide support for managing the disease. Qualifying individuals can claim up to $8,662 as a medical expense, offering significant relief from the financial burdens associated with celiac disease.
By taking advantage of the Disability Tax Credit, individuals with celiac disease can access additional financial assistance beyond claiming food expenses, ensuring they can effectively manage their condition while maintaining their overall well-being.