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I know that nobody wants to think about taxes, and certainly not at this time of the year. But, not keeping them in mind throughout the entire year can end up being a HUGE mistake. This is especially true if you have any documented medical condition. I know some of you are asking why, but stick with me here.
Tax Write Off FAIL
Medical conditions, such as Celiac Disease, are things that you have to keep in mind all year long. But at the end of the year, you really need to take a look at everything and make sure that you have your ducks in a row. You see, medical conditions have more tax write off’s due to the fact that there are things you medically require.
Celiac is the example that I am going to use here because it just happens to be what I have. I have been writing off things due to Celiac for more years than I can remember.
If you have Diabetes, you can write off all of the supplies necessary to give yourself insulin, plus the insulin, of course. You can also write off the visit’s to the doctor’s office and the mileage to get there,as well as the mileage to procure your supplies. Celiac is no different.
If you are somebody who has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, a gluten allergy or a gluten intolerance then you have some tax advantages. Maybe. And if you haven’t been claiming these medical deductions, then that is a tax write off fail!
Let me state very clearly here that I am NOT a Financial Advisor, a Tax Attorney or a CPA. So, please make sure to speak with whoever handles your taxes before you make any changes to how and what you file.
Since I MUST have gluten free food to thrive and survive, I get to write it off. Here are the medical write off’s that go along with my diagnosis:
- Any and all gluten free food
- All mileage to and from the location to procure said food
- Shipping required for food ordered online
That being said, I keep a spreadsheet that documents everything that I purchase and calculates the cost per mile. To get the latter, I go onto the IRS website at the beginning of every year to see what the medical mileage rate is for that year, because they change it all the time. This year, for example, went down to $.53.5 cents per mile from $.54 cents per mile in 2016. They haven’t released the 2018 rates yet, but if you check back soon it will be posted.
Here is a snapshot of how my spreadsheet looks right now:
I not only write off food that we get from the grocery store that is labeled gluten free, but other foods also. What I mean by that is that a lot of foods that shouldn’t have gluten in them do, so I have to track down the brand or version that contains NO gluten. Therefore, it is a write off for me. The same thing applies to food at restaurants.
A lot of times I have to get a special dish, because I have Celiac and am a vegetarian. That is a tax write off. But it is also a write off if I just get a dish that is naturally gluten free, like a salad, because I can’t eat anything else on the menu.
Why a Write Off
You may be asking why this is considered a write off. Well, that is a valid question. You see, anything that is required to assist with a medical condition is a write off because it is more expensive for those of us with medical conditions. My gluten free food is ridiculously more expensive than the regular non-gluten free food. Take a loaf of bread, for example:
- A regular loaf of bread at the grocery store usually runs us $1.99 to $2.39
- My gluten free bread usually runs anywhere from $5.99 to $7.99 per loaf (and the loaves are MUCH smaller!)
- This means that I am paying between 300% to 334% more for a smaller loaf of bread
Let me tell you that the tax write off doesn’t fully offset this giant increase in food costs for me, but it helps. Although, it only helps SOME years. That is due to the fact that medical expenses can only be written off once they surpass 10% of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income).
If you haven’t heard of this before, as most people I have run across haven’t, well now you know. And knowing is half the battle!
SIDE NOTE: Just make sure that you keep copious records and ALL receipts. Because if you don’t have a receipt, and you get audited, it doesn’t count. I keep every receipt and at tax time I print out the spreadsheet and attach the receipts to it, so that everything is together. Just in case.
Did you know about this tax write off? If so, has it helped you in years past and how do you keep your records straight?