Friday, December 13, 2013

Do The Amish Pay Taxes?

A friend and I were talking about the state of the nation and the question arose, do the Amish pay taxes and what do they pay?

"Q: Do the Amish pay taxes?

A: Yes. They pay all the taxes—income, property, sales, estate, corporate, school—that other people do. In fact many of them pay school taxes twice—for both public and private Amish schools. The US Congress exempted the Amish from participating in Social Security in 1965 because the Amish viewed it as a form of commercial insurance, which they opposed.

They believe that members of the church should care for each others’ physical and material needs. Thus, most of them do not pay into Social Security or receive payments from it. In some states, the Amish have also been exempted from workers compensation (insurance for on-the-job injuries) for the same reason. See Government for more information."    

So yes, Amish do pay the same tax you and I pay except for Social Security.  They were able to opt out on this one, just like I was as a teacher.  I did not pay into Social Security as a teacher but I did pay into it on my all my other work in farming and consulting.  I would receive full benefit if I had not taught in the public system for 31 years.  Therefore I have basically no benefit from SS though I am fully vested.  It affects LuAnn's retirement too, as she will receive 2/3 of my pension at my death until her death.    

We saw our parents depend on their Social Security for their retirements where in contrast, we basically never planned to do that.  They paid so little in compared to what they got out but when you figure inflation, I don't think they got a great deal either.  Things were so cheap when they paid in 1950 and were so inflated by the time they retired at 1990 or whatever the year.   They learned to live on little because they were children of the Great Depression.  

Our government has raided Social Security so much that is why it will go broke, not because of the system that was set up.  FDR has been applauded and ridiculed for coming up with SS, so take your pick.  I never believed the government could take better care of me than I could myself.   Remember "Born Free and Taxed to Death?"  Render under to Caesar

what is Caesar's is Caesar's and pay to God what is God's.  



  1. I have a problem with this one. Are you sure they pay taxes. I have always been told they do not pay for roads and all the things our taxes go for.There is no way a young family can have all the that they have, new home and new barns and then there is the 'church' building with kitchen and bedrooms etc that is used for a church a couple of times per year.

  2. This is what my research found from talking to Amish and Mennonites and my Internet research.


    1. I certainly hope it is correct. Each group does have their own leaders and guidelines.

  3. I think this discussion has raised as many questions for me as it has answered. I suppose that there are two different questions: "Are the Amish subject to taxation?" and "[To what extent] Do Amish pay taxes?" I am not an expert in this area, but a few scenarios come to mind.

    Anonymous, above, questions whether Amish pay to support the roads. I guess this would depend on how the roads are funded. If roads are funded by gasoline taxes, buggy drivers wouldn't be paying the same as drivers of cars and trucks, would they? If some Amish were buying gasoline to power generators, then they would be paying the gas taxes to some extent.

    Homeowners pay property taxes based on the assessed value of their property. I would imagine that an Amish home without plumbing and wiring would have a lower assessed value than a similarly sized home with these ammenities. That would leave the Amish homeowner with a smaller tax burden.

    Amish families are subject to income tax, but how much do they end up paying? A combination of a low income and many dependant deductions could make an Amish family's income tax burden very low. Could your family of 8 live as well on $25K per year as an Amish family could?

    Thank you for an interesting discussion.

  4. it is quite easy to see the taxrolls in any community you are worried about. it just takes about as much time to research as it does for being on this or any other blog. rumors about what one has always heard is what is currently challenging the validity of what is going on in the govt nationally, state, county city. the news is even suspect when we can read about someone doing a report on an event they got from a phone call instead of having been there.

  5. I and my wife were raised in heavily Amish populated rural areas.
    My father provide d Vet services for them for many years. Back from 1946 to the 1980 s
    I chose a good friend. Of Amish heritage
    To be my best man at our wedding 43 years ago.
    We still spend allot of time with them. The Amish in Southern Ky. Northern Indiana and
    The kidron, Sugar Creek Ohio areas.
    Many are True Stewards of the soil.
    A few are not.

  6. Everyone goes through these kinds of financial decisions, even among those who we believe to have sworn off money. There's probably some iteration of that or other. We all deal with matter, and engage in some level of barter or trade. Furthermore, we abide by a modicum of responsibility for things beyond ourselves. The Amish sustain a community, so they are attuned to that as much as we are. Anyway, it's about how we line up these kinds of obligations, and account for things that which we owe or we are owed.

    Cory @ Integrated Accounting

  7. In life, there are few things that won't go away, one of those is tax. Anywhere we go, we have to pay taxes. It doesn't matter who you are. If you are abroad, you can seek the consultation of expatriate tax services to help you with tax matters.