Income Tax Info

  Celiac Disease – Medical expense

Incremental (additional) cost of Gluten-Free (GF) products now an eligible medical expense on T1 individual tax return

Individuals who suffer from celiac disease (gluten intolerance) are entitled to claim the incremental costs of purchasing gluten-free (GF) products as a medical expense for the 2003 and subsequent tax years.

These individuals are not, however, entitled to claim the Disability tax credit for the "inordinate" amount of time it takes to shop for or prepare GF products.

Who can claim the incremental cost of GF products?

Individuals, who have a certificate from a medical practitioner that states they require a GF diet because of celiac disease can claim the incremental cost of GF products as an eligible medical expense.

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 celiac 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 individual 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?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is responsible for administering the new medical expense. As with all claims, receipts should be available on request by the CRA. A request for supporting documents could be made before or after the return has been assessed, so it is important to keep the following information available:

* a letter from the medical practitioner confirming the individual suffers from celiac desease and requires GF products as a result of that disease;

* a summary of each item purchased during the 12-month period for which 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.

You can find more information here:

Here is a sample tax chart for Medical Deduction purposes:

1. Item
2. Number of items purchased
3. Average cost (per item) of non-GF product
4. Average cost (per item) of GF product
5. Incremental cost ( 4 ) - ( 3 )
6. Claim for GF item
7. (5 ) x (2) Incremental cost X Amount purchased.

1. Item 2. Number of items purchased 3. Average cost (per item) of non-GF product 4. Average cost (per item) of GF product 5. Incremental cost ( 4 ) - ( 3 ) 6. Claim for GF item
Bread 52 $1.20 $5.00 $3.80 $197.60
Rice flour 20 $ 0 $3.33 $3.80 $76.00
Buns- Hamburger 9 $1.39 $5.99 $4.60 $41.40
Buns - Hotdog 9 $1.39 $5.99 $4.60 $41.40
Buns -Sandwich 10 $1.97 $5.99 $4.02 $40.20
Cereal 20 $2.50 $4.50 $2.00 $20.00
Tapioca Flour 20 $ 0 $1.00 $1.00 $20.00
Baking Powder 5 $ 0 $3.14 $3.14 $15.70
Gelatin 3 $ 0 $1.82 $1.82 $5.46
Waffles 14 $1.99 $5.39 $3.40 $47.60
Hot Dogs 12 $1.59 $3.80 $2.21 $26.52
Pasta 11 $1.50 $3.17 $1.67   $18.37
Cookies 20 $1.99 $4.95 $2.96 $59.20
Butter Tarts 12 $1.99 $6.50 $4.51 $54.12
Apple Pie 10 $3.00 $13.00 $10.00   $100.00
Pizza Crust 20 $2.00 $ 4.95 $ 2.95 $59.00
Total Incremental cost allowable(add all amounts in column 6):

$ 822.57

Courtesy of:


If you have interest in the tax credit issue, please send your comments ASAP to Health Canada.
The email address is:

The full proposal is available here in Acrobat:

Health Canada, Health Products and Food Branch,
dated November 2001, from Karen L. Dodds, Ph.D. Director General

This document invites comments and suggestions from Canadians on a proposed approach to regulating health claims for foods. Comments received before February 26, 2002 in response to this proposed regulatory framework will be considered in drafting proposed regulations to be published in Canada Gazette Part I. The approach to regulating health claims for foods proposed in this document may be referred to as "product-specific authorization". This means that authorization would be granted on a product-by-product basis without claim-specific regulatory amendments. We propose that a food that is manufactured, sold or represented to have a direct, measurable effect on a body function or structure beyond normal growth and development or maintenance of good health be required to submit detailed information to support such an effect before being advertised or offered for sale. The conditions which must be met before a food could be authorized to carry a claim or a representation conveying such an effect are outlined in this proposal.

Letter From Cam Jackson, dated December 3, 2001
I am pleased to enclose a special edition from the latest Abilities Magazine on the recently proposed Ontario With Disabilities Act, 2001.

I feel very strongly that Bill 125 is a landmark piece of legislation that, if approved, would dramatically increase opportunity and independence for persons with disabilities.  It is part of our vision of a fully accessible Ontario - - a province where old barriers are removed, and no new ones are created.

The special section spells out clearly how we intend to accomplish this goal in partnership with many important stakeholders.

As the articles make clear, two of the strongest features of the proposed legislation are engagement and flexibility.  Stakeholders, particularly persons with disabilities, are engaged in ways that put them inside the process and make the responsible for change.  At the same time, the bill encourages local flexibility, so long as compliance is achieved.

I hope you enjoy reading these and the many other interesting articles in the enclosed issue.  I urge you to remain interested and involved in Ontario's drive for greater independence and opportunity for persons with disabilities.

Cam, Jackson
Minister,  Ministry of Citizenship, Tel: 416 325 6200 Fax 416 325 6195


Fact Sheet December 2000 from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency

Expanded criteria for the disability tax credit

Here is the link to: 
Form T2201

In its February 2000 budget and the Economic Statement and budget update of October 18, 2000, the federal government expanded tax relief for persons with disabilities by broadening and enhancing the disability tax credit. The disability tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit, which is applied to reduce the amount of income tax a person may have to pay.

Disability criteria
Eligibility for the disability tax credit was expanded to include individuals with severe and prolonged disabilities who need life-sustaining therapy on an ongoing basis. Starting with the 2000 tax year, individuals may qualify on this basis if a medical doctor certifies that they need, and dedicate time for, life sustaining therapy at least three times a week, for an average of 14 hours a week.
Life-sustaining therapy is therapy needed to sustain a vital function so that a person can do the basic activities of daily living as defined for the credit. Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, has been revised and expanded to include detailed information about life-sustaining therapy.

Amount in addition to the disability amount
In 1999, the disability tax credit represented $4,233. For the 2000 tax year this amount has been increased to $4,293. Also, beginning, with the 2000 tax year, there is an additional amount of $2,941, which can be claimed for a child under 18 at the end of a tax year who qualifies for the disability amount. This amount is reduced by the expenses for child care and attendant care that are more than $2000 and claimed in the year for the child.


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