Why do some people avoid the tax?

Gluten intolerance: diet meals deductible as an extraordinary burden?

11.06.2019

Because of “extraordinary problems”, some people have to bear significantly higher costs than other people in similar living conditions. In tax law, these costs are only recognized as “extraordinary burdens” and allowed for deduction if they are unavoidable. More precisely, that part of the expenses may be deducted from the total amount of income that exceeds the taxpayer's reasonable burden. With the question of whether spending on diet products because of a Gluten intolerance (celiac disease) can be claimed as extraordinary burdens in the income tax return, has dealt with the tax court Cologne (FG).

A couple had three children, one of whom had celiac disease. Because of his illness, the child needed a gluten-free diet. The spouses incurred additional expenses for this, which they claimed in their income tax return as extraordinary burdens. However, the expenses did not exceed the reasonable burden, so that they did not have any tax effects. The spouses, however, wanted to be taken into account without the reasonable burden, as they would only have asserted the portion that was required to be paid.

The FG dismissed the lawsuit as unfounded: The tax office rightly has the Additional expenses for dietary nutrition of the child not as extraordinary burdens approved for deduction. A taxpayer can deduct expenses which he cannot avoid for legal, factual or moral reasons and which most other taxpayers with the same income, assets and family status do not incur. However, living expenses (such as subsistence costs) are not included in these costs - regardless of the amount, whether below or above the reasonable burden. It is true that celiac disease is a disease and the cost of medication can be considered as an extraordinary burden. But this does not apply to diet meals.