It's Tax Season, time to gather all of your Celiac & Gluten Free Tax Receipts

I write about Tax season every year, because there are always Canadians being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and people may not know about the expenses you can claim.

I know some may argue it is not worth the effort (apparently you were able to claim much more in the past), but really, do you want the government to just take your money?  Personally, we try to get as much back as we can from taxes, so that means claiming the incremental cost between buying a gluten free item vs. the non-gluten free item.

The Canada Revenue Agency lays out the gluten free products expense their website.  There is a table to show you how to do the calculation, what you can and can't claim, and what you need to submit the expense, such as a Doctors note.

Essential you take the difference in price between the gluten free item and the standard price (incremental cost) and multiply it by the number of purchases you made.

For example, gluten free bread may cost you $5, and whole wheat bread is $1.50.  The difference between the prices (the incremental cost) is $3.50.  If you bought 10 loafs over the year, you multiple the 3.50 by 10 which ends up to be $35.50.  That $35.50 would go towards your medical expense.

I am no accountant, and I can't even begin to explain how the government takes into account medical expenses, but it should help a little bit.

I created a spreadsheet to help us with the calculations.  It helped out a lot and made things a bit easier.  I recommend it too.  The example calculation on the Canada Revenue Agency website should help you quite a lot in setting up a spreadsheet.

So what's this mean to you?  If you haven't already, start keeping all your receipts when you purchase a gluten free product.  I like to highlight the product and note it on the receipt so I know what it was.  I usually don't record anything in the spreadsheet until the years end.

How do you know what the standard cost of an item is?  I wish I could tell you, but I can't, because I don't know.  I tried to find something on the Canada Revenue Agency website, but didn't find anything, so I just looked at prices at the grocery store and used those prices.

Sounds frustrating and confusing doesn't it?  Well, I wouldn't expect anything less from taxes.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta


  1. this is a question I once asked a canada tax rep
    and got no answer...... can you answer it?

    I can buy a box of reg crackers 250 grams for $2.50 I pay $3.59 for a 100 gram pkg. of G/F crackers so how do I calculate the cost to apply it to g/f bill

  2. Hi Linda,

    I have asked myself that many times as well, but because I am not an accountant, I can't answer it.

    However, for ourselves, to play it safe, I don't calculate it on a per unit price, I calculate it on a per package price, no matter the difference in quantity in a package.

    I wish they made it easier.


  3. This is an age old saga perhaps it is time as a canadian asssoc to work with revenue Canada to provide us with a yearly exemption for example long distance truckers can write off a certain amount each year for meals while working from tax forms submitted a ball park sum should by now be evident.
    we have achieved getting this exemption so why not shoot for the moon

    you are both on the celiac assoc directors board now

    over the years i have discovered that folks use several strategies in figuring out the cost of g/f food for us we keep track of all g/f purchases subtract 1/3 of that total amount and the 2/3 left this is what we claim so far we have not been audited touch wood.

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  5. Not every charitable contribution is tax deductible. I didn't know that also. It is important to be familiar with what gifts are capable to be deducted at tax time before they claim these contributions on their taxes (although I don't think that should impact your decision to donate).

  6. Penalty abatement brings much relief to a taxpayer because many times penalties can add as much as 25 percent of the total tax debt.

  7. I wonder if there are tax accountants in Perth that can provide me tax computation about gluten-free products. I will check the website that you provided because my grandmother was diagnosed with Celiac Disease last year.


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