Last week, I spend a few hours with a friend of mine who has been diagnosed with celiac disease.  We chatted about some of the crazy things that happen with auto-immune disorders, food intolerances and allergies, and walked through a grocery store to see some of the things that I use frequently, and talk about what to buy where.

She asked about the tax deduction you can get for specialty foods.  I had nearly forgotten about it, because when I ran the numbers it just didn't work out for us.  The rules for the tax deduction are to have a letter of diagnosis from your doc, and have all your receipts for your gluten free purchases.  Which seems easy enough, but, then the hard part starts.  You also have to know the price for the non-gf equivalent for each food you've purchased.  You can only claim the difference.  Add up your difference for the year, and if that number exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted income you can claim it, IF none of your insurance reimbursements cover it.  Here is a starter worksheet if you want to see how to set up a tracking system. 

I mentioned insurance reimbursements earlier.  What that means, is if you have an insurance spending plan, you may be able to use that money to cover the food expenses because it's medically necessary for you to eat that way.  Double check your plan coverage, or ask HR to find out for you.  Also a thought for any of you that have the option to take a plan like that.  It may work far more to your advantage than the tax deduction, especially if you have your taxes set up properly to start with (not giving the government an interest free loan out of the goodness of your heart all year long).

For any of you who are new Celiacs, or have wheat or gluten intolerances, I'm going to end this article with places wheat hides.  After talking with my friend the other day, she showed me how she was carrying about granola bars with her for snacks, so she didn't contaminate herself.  Unfortunately the bars she had weren't GF.  So here's a quick list!  But remember if it's labeled GF, you're fine, this is only for things not specifically labeled GF.

Anything that says it's processed in a facility that also processes wheat.
Anything that's processed
Anything labeled with stabilizer, binders, fillers, natural flavor, vegetable gums, and mono & diglycerides
Frosting or Icing
Cool Whip
Do not do this either!
Soy Sauce
Malted Anything
Anything that's been deep fried.
Communion wafers
Ice Cream
Alcohol - depending on the distillation process 
Red wine (ask about the barrels, some are sealed with wheat paste)
Imitation meats (beware of sushi)
Medications (talk to your pharmacist, they can check for you)
Soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, cosmetics, lotions, paper products, sunscreen
Stickers, envelopes
Other appliances in the kitchen.
Toys.  Seriously, grubby little fingers drag crumbs everywhere.
Anything that comes from mold, cheeses, etc.
Bakeries, Donut Shops, etc.  (Dunkin Donuts posts a sign on their doors now, don't even get the coffee at the store.  It's not GF.  The bagged beans though are safe.)
Pet Food
And of course, you.  Yep, you'll contaminate yourself a few times too.

Stayed tuned next week for the One About Baby Jeebus and the Zombie Apocalypse.
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4 Responses
  1. Wow, I never knew about that! New follower :)

  2. Interesting post! Thanks for following me:) I'm returning the favor!

  3. kaylee Says:

    Such an interesting post! Really enjoyed reading this xo

  4. Thank you so much for spending the afternoon with me! I learned a lot from our visit. I am being a lot more diligent about reading those labels. My pharmacist did check my meds and said this month they are gluten free but the VA changes manufacturers every few weeks looking for the best deals.

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