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.
What is the "incremental cost"?
The incremental cost is the difference in the cost of GF products compared to the cost of similar non-GF products. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of a non-GF product from the cost of a GF product (see example below).
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 and GF spices.
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 your income tax and benefit return electronically or on paper, do not send any supporting documents. However, keep the following documents in case we ask to see them at a later date:
- a letter from a medical practitioner confirming the person suffers from celiac disease and requires GF products as a result of that disease
- a receipt to support the cost of each GF product or intermediate product claimed
- a summary of each item purchased during the 12-month period for which the expenses are being claimed (see example below)
1. Item: bread
2. Number of items purchased: 52
3. Average cost of non-GF product: $3.49
4. Average cost of GF product: $6.99
5. Incremental cost (line 4 minus line 3): $6.99 - $3.49 = $3.50
6. Amount to claim (line 5 multiplied by line 2): $3.50 x 52 = $182.00
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