Can I Write Off Groceries On My Taxes?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Mar 06, 2023
Small Business Insurance Colorado

As we approach tax season, many people start to wonder about what expenses they can write off on their taxes. One common question that arises is whether or not groceries can be written off as a tax deduction. While there is no simple answer to this question, there are a few things to consider when it comes to deducting grocery expenses on your taxes.

First, it’s important to understand that the IRS has very specific rules and guidelines regarding what expenses can be written off on your taxes. In general, expenses that are considered necessary and ordinary for your business or profession may be deductible. However, when it comes to groceries, the rules are a bit more complicated.

Groceries and Business Expenses

If you are self-employed or own a business, you may be able to write off some of your grocery expenses as a business expense. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Groceries must be used for business purposes in order to be deductible. If you purchase groceries for personal use, they cannot be written off on your taxes.
  • Only a portion of your grocery expenses may be deductible. The IRS allows you to deduct the portion of your grocery expenses that are directly related to your business. For example, if you purchase groceries for a business meeting or event, you may be able to deduct those expenses.
  • You must keep detailed records of your grocery expenses in order to claim them on your taxes. This includes keeping receipts, invoices, and other documentation that shows how much you spent and what the groceries were used for.

Groceries and Medical Expenses

If you have a medical condition that requires a special diet, you may be able to deduct some of your grocery expenses as a medical expense. However, there are some strict rules that apply.

  • You must have a diagnosed medical condition that requires a special diet in order to deduct your grocery expenses. Simply eating a healthy diet is not enough.
  • You must have a written recommendation from a doctor or other medical professional that outlines the specific dietary requirements for your condition.
  • You can only deduct the portion of your grocery expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. For example, if your adjusted gross income is $50,000, you can only deduct grocery expenses that exceed $3,750.

Groceries and Charitable Donations

If you donate groceries to a registered charity, you may be able to deduct the value of those groceries on your taxes. However, there are some important guidelines to follow.

  • The charity must be a registered 501(c)(3) organization in order for your donation to be tax-deductible.
  • You must have a receipt or other documentation that shows the value of your donation.
  • You can only deduct the fair market value of the groceries you donate. This is typically the price you paid for the groceries, but it may be less if the groceries are close to their expiration date or are otherwise not in good condition.


While it may be possible to write off some of your grocery expenses on your taxes, it’s important to understand the rules and guidelines that apply. Whether you are self-employed, have a medical condition, or are donating groceries to charity, it’s essential to keep detailed records and follow the IRS guidelines in order to avoid any issues with your tax return.

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