No parent can afford to ignore the numerous dietary challenges of their kids. Fear for obesity, allergies, and religious concerns are among the reasons that immensely determine the type of foods we take. However, being so choosy with whatever we consume and outright rejections of some may be a costly undertaking.
The IRS extends a tax relief in cases of food allergies. The tax man will allow you a tax break if you prove that you are usually propelled to purchase special foods to contain your diet under certain conditions.
To benefit from this tax break, there is a criterion that you must meet before incorporating the special food costs as part of your medical expenses. To begin with, the special diet must be validated by a doctor. Just because you dislike some foods and you opt to buy some special substitute is not justifiable enough for the tax break, a physician must validate that indeed you are forced to resort to the special foods for health reasons.
Secondly, the special food must be used to meet your routine nutritional needs and also, the special foods should be linked to treating or alleviating some illness.
You don’t qualify for a tax break for if you purchase special foods simply because of your own personal or family’s moral beliefs. A vegetarian might dislike the idea of killing innocent animals but that does not make the IRS extend the tax break. Also, religious beliefs that bar people from eating some foods like pork and products related to it cannot qualify one for the tax break. Further to that, the overwhelming number of people fighting obesity and trying to get rid of the extra pounds through special diets does not qualify for the tax break.
Simply put, the special food must indeed be special and be able to treat your medically detected illness. This includes those with serious disorders like celae disease and allergies. There are limitations though; only the amount the special foods exceeds the cost of normal foods can be included in your medical expenses. If the normal food costs $10 but the special diet retails at $ 15, then only $ 5 can be included in your medical expenses. You can only deduct the amount the special foods exceed the normal diet and not the whole cost of the special food.
You should bear in mind that these expenses still have to meet the 7.5 % floor for medical expenses which are deductible on a schedule A in case you itemize. However, they are only deductible on a schedule A if they exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
I think it is time you claimed this break if you qualify. Don’t bear the burden alone if the IRS can help you lessen it.