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22nd Aug 2023

Thousands of people with allergies in Ireland don’t know about this tax relief

Sophie Collins

tax relief

Coming from a fellow coeliac… I only discovered this in 2022 after ten years of being gluten-free.

There are thousands of people living with allergies who are not taking advantage of the tax relief they are entitled to.

That’s according to the latest Taxback Taxpayer Sentiment Survey, which shows six in ten people have no idea they can get tax relief on the cost of special foods.

If you are restricted in your diet as a result of a medical condition, such as Coeliac disease or diabetes, the cost of a grocery shop is naturally more pricey.

The number of people suffering from coeliac disease in Ireland is around 76,500, according to the Coeliac Society.

However it also estimates that a further 400,000 Irish people are gluten intolerant.

Of those adults, just 38% are aware of the relief, while 62% have never heard of it, the survey revealed.

In order to claim the relief, you need to provide Revenue with a doctor’s note stating the medical condition and the specific dietary requirements.

You should also keep receipts for the gluten-free food you have bought to support any claim.

If you’re registered with a supermarket loyalty card scheme, you may be able to get a list of all the gluten-free bits you’ve bought from the supermarket over the course of a year.

Taxback said that to be eligible for the relief, you need to be purchasing those foods on the advice of a doctor as a result of being diagnosed with an allergy.

This means that if you’re eating and buying gluten-free food as a lifestyle choice for example or for any other non-medical reason, you won’t be eligible for relief.

Speaking about the results of the survey, Marian Ryan, consumer tax manager with Taxback, said that gluten-free foods, and others purchased without allergens can be very expensive.

“For families on low incomes and those grappling with the cost-of-living crisis, treating coeliac disease through a strict gluten-free diet can be financially stressful – and so the tax relief available to them would make a huge difference.

“Sadly, in light of the poor awareness of this relief uncovered in our survey, there are likely many people who are losing out on it. Those who are eligible for this relief should be sure to claim what they are due in this regard.”