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Groceries: tax write-off?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine swears up and down that you can save all receipts for groceries (food, not non-food) and write them off on your taxes.

My husband says she's coo-coo, but she is a very smart woman and I can't believe she would say this so adamantly if it weren't true. I can't seem to find any reference to it online anywhere and I don't know where else to look.

So I've been saving all grocery receipts for almost a year now. They are piling up. My husband refuses to even look at them, saying its a ridiculous idea that they would be write-offs. We filed an extension on our taxes, so its not too late to use them if they really are a write-off.

Anyone know about this????
post #2 of 16
My DH's dad is an accountant and he would have told us if that were true. I believe the only food that is a tax writeoff is special food you have to buy for a medical reason (like gluten free food for Celiac disease), and only the part that is above what you would pay for a normal version of the food. At that point it's considered a medical expense, and it's only a writeoff if you itemize and it's above a certain percentage of your income. Other than that, food is not a tax writeoff unless you donated all of that food to charity.
post #3 of 16
I never heard of it. Wouldn't that be nice if it were true?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Obviously, for the entire year that I meticulously saved all grocery receipts, I certainly wanted to believe it!

I wonder what my friend is thinking...? Is it possible this is a Florida thing? I know so little about taxes.
post #5 of 16
You are allowed to write off your sales tax in states that don't have income tax and we saved receipts for that when we lived in WA. (but usually on the big things, besides there is no sales tax on most groceries?) Maybe she's getting that mixed up?

And its always possible its a state-specific law somewhere.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo
besides there is no sales tax on most groceries?)
Only in some states. I'd never lived in a state that taxed groceries until I moved to Kansas, but apparently quite a few do. It's like food suddenly got 7% more expensive

I was thinking she meant the sales tax on the groceries, though.

dar
post #7 of 16
I'm an accountant. I agree with the previous poster, the only reason you could write it off is if it is a medical expense or it was donated to charity. I live in florida and they don't change sales tax on food items.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin'smom
I live in florida and they don't change sales tax on food items.
:
post #9 of 16
wow, I live in AR and we have a 9% sales tax rate. I guess I just assumed everyone paid sales tax on groceries.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I guess dh was right. Too bad! (Not too bad he was right... too bad I've saved these receipts for nothing!)

OK, so what about this writing off sales tax? Is that on all items?
post #11 of 16
I think we (FL) pay taxes for things like alcoholic beverages. That's not considered a food item. It's nice to not have pay tax on food. I think it should be that way in all states. You need food to live. You shouldn't have to pay taxes on it.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
I think we (FL) pay taxes for things like alcoholic beverages. That's not considered a food item. It's nice to not have pay tax on food. I think it should be that way in all states. You need food to live. You shouldn't have to pay taxes on it.
I totally agree. Ya know, in Minnesota (and I don't know where else) you don't pay tax on clothing either.

I think there should be sales tax only on luxury items like cars over a certain price, fancy boats, mansions... that kind of thing. I mean, if the government isn't even going to spring for basic health care, they can at least let us keep what we do make so we can afford it.
post #13 of 16
For 2005 and (I think) 2006, you are permitted to deduct EITHER the state and local income taxes paid OR the sales taxes paid from your income - not both. This only helps if you end up with enough deductions to exceed the standard deduction, but assuming you itemize, you can add "sales tax" to the list of deductions. Also, I believe the IRS lets you estimate the amount of sales tax based on where you live and your income.

I don't think Congress renewed this provision for 2007, and it might even be gone for 2006 already.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNB
For 2005 and (I think) 2006, you are permitted to deduct EITHER the state and local income taxes paid OR the sales taxes paid from your income - not both. This only helps if you end up with enough deductions to exceed the standard deduction, but assuming you itemize, you can add "sales tax" to the list of deductions. Also, I believe the IRS lets you estimate the amount of sales tax based on where you live and your income.

I don't think Congress renewed this provision for 2007, and it might even be gone for 2006 already.
Yeah, we lived in WA where there is no income tax, so obviously we deduced the sales tax. Now we live in MA with an income tax, so lucky us.

I guess I assumed no one charged sales tax on groceries, because it does seem riddiculous thing to do and both WA and MA (the two states I've lived in) don't charge it.
post #15 of 16
When we lived in Kansas, there was a homestead and sales tax refund program for people under a certain income. This was a state tax program, not federal. . . .
post #16 of 16
In addition to speciality food items (but generally not vitamins or supplements) if you are a business owner, or a freelancer you can write off 50% of the money you expend for entertaining clients or customers. You can also write off money that you spend on food while traveling.
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