Celiacs can claim extra cost of food as a medical expense

Canada Revenue Agency

Once again it’s tax time.  As a Celiac did you know that if you are directed by your doctor to be on a Gluten-Free (GF) diet, you can claim the incremental cost of food as an eligible medical expense?  Below is what the Canada Revenue Agency has to say about it:


Taxes (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Persons who suffer from celiac disease (gluten intolerance) are entitled to claim the incremental costs associated with the purchase of gluten-free (GF) products as a medical expense.

You do not qualify for the disability amount (line 316) based on the inordinate amount of time it takes to shop for or prepare GF products.

What is the “incremental cost”?
The incremental cost is the increased cost of purchasing a GF product as compared to the cost of a similar non-GF product. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of a non-GF product from the cost of a GF product. The calculation is shown below in the sample summary.

What items are eligible?
Generally, the food items are limited to those produced and marketed specifically for GF diets. Such items include, but are not limited to, GF bread, bagels, muffins, and cereals.

Intermediate items will also be allowed where the patient suffering from celiac disease uses the items to make GF products for their exclusive use. These include, but are not limited to, rice flour, GF spices, etc.

What if there are several people consuming the GF products?
If several people consume the products, only the costs related to the part of the product consumed by the person with celiac disease are to be used in calculating the medical expense tax credit.

What documents do I need to support a claim for the medical expense tax credit?
If you are filing a paper return, include the following supporting documentation. If you are filing electronically keep the following supporting documentation in case we ask to see it:

  • a letter from a medical practitioner confirming the person suffers from celiac disease and requires GF products as a result of that disease;
  • a summary of each item purchased during the 12-month period for which the expenses are being claimed (a sample summary is shown below); and
  • a receipt to support the cost shown in column (4) of each GF product or intermediate product claimed.

Your medical tax credit claim must exceed 3% of your net income or $2,109 (whichever is less), so it may not be worth the bother of calculating it if gluten-free food is your only medical expense. For more information, check the Revenue Canada web site (updated 2013-01-03)

Thanks to Jennie Johnson, members of the Kelowna Chapter now get an Excel spreadsheet emailed to them to help with the calculations.

Where to eat and shop updated

By Debra Weissmann

I’m fairly new to the gluten-free lifestyle but I have found a couple of places that aren’t on your list that are great for folks like me. I suggest you try:

Abby's Spice and Teas Abby’s Spice and Teas on Kirschner near the Landmark buildings – The spices are freshly ground and the owner doesn’t put any additives into her blends which makes it a safe spot for folks with any allergy. www.abbyspiceandtea.com

Valoroso’s Foods on Sutherland Avenue at Burch – they have a selection of gluten-free pastas, a gluten-free Italian blend flour and they make a gluten-free pizza crust. Super friendly and they have way, way better prices on cheeses and deli meats. www.valorosofoods.com

Last but not least is the reasonably new Mexican/Salvadorian Restaurant – Latin Fiesta on Highway 33 in Rutland – they sell all sorts of Hispanic food supplies including probably the best corn tortilla’s in the Valley – super fresh and perfect for cooking with. They also sell a large variety of foods that are eatable right there because the majority of Hispanic cooking is with corn product. www.urbanspoon.com/r/85/1590825/restaurant/British-Columbia/Latin-Fiesta-Kelowna

I hope you can add these great establishments to the list and I appreciate your hard work at creating the list too!

Editors note: Thanks Debra! We have updated our list! If anyone else has suggestions, please send them our way.

New book: Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food

Press release

Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food by Alain Braux aims to help readers afflicted with gluten intolerance, Celiac disease and Autism through healthy, mouth-watering food choices.

The secret to living well, believes chef and nutrition therapist Braux, is to eat to live, rather than to live to eat. For optimum health, he believes that it is crucial to avoid over-processed and bioengineered foods and go back to the basics. In Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food, he promotes gluten and dairy-free living with healthy, delicious food.

Filled with personal anecdotes, practical tips and more than 80 recipes, Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food shows why eating nutritionally can promote health. Chef Braux, who creates custom diets for people with challenging health conditions, shows readers how to prepare simple gluten and dairy-free dishes like Provencal Boule, Daube a la Niçoise, Ratatouille, and Light as Cloud Raspberry Soufflé.

Kecia Johndrow, Vice President of National Autism Association of Central Texas, says: “Chef Braux demonstrates a vast knowledge of the gluten-free, casein-free diet, bringing together in one book not only how and why this diet works for both individuals on the Autism spectrum and for those diagnosed with Celiac disease, but also recipes, resources, and a concise shopping list. I highly recommend this book to anyone that would like to improve their health with the GFCF diet.”

Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other sales channels. Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Living-Gluten-Dairy-Free-French-Gourmet/dp/0984288317/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1286752646&sr=8-3

About the Author

Certified executive pastry chef Alain Braux has worked in the food industry for more than 40 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in holistic nutrition, is a certified executive pastry chef with the American Culinary Federation and a certified master baker with the Retail Bakers of America. Chef Braux currently lives in Austin, where he is the executive chef at Peoples Pharmacy and in private practice as a nutritherapist with A Votre Santé.

Chef Braux pledged to donate $1.00 per book sold to the National Autistic Association’s local chapter and $1.00 to the Gluten Intolerance Group of America’s local chapter.