Since we've hit the midway point of the year, I thought it would be a good time to review my progress in trying to take the gluten-free tax deduction on my federal income taxes.
If you were unaware, the government allows those of us with celiac disease to take a deduction for the increased cost of gluten-free foods. Basically, you have to calculate the difference between what you pay for gluten-free items and what it would cost for the equivalent normal food item.
There are two drawbacks to this. One is that it's a very tedious deduction to calculate. I've been keeping a spreadsheet recording all of my gluten-free purchases and trying to find equivalent items to compare them with. That hasn't been a lot of fun.
The second drawback is that this gluten-free deduction is considered a medical expense. You are only allowed to deduct medical expenses if they total more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.
If you don't have major medical expenses (I haven't had any so far and I don't anticipate any this year), it's unlikely that your expenses will reach the 7.5 percent threshold.
Sure enough, I've added up all of my excess gluten-free costs for the six months of the year and it comes to a grand total of about $250.
So for all the work I've put into calculating this, I'm probably not going to get any benefit. And I'm still stuck paying for all those gluten-free extras.