Contrary to belief, Amish pay nearly all taxes

amish taxesOne of a number of myths about the Amish is that they don’t pay taxes.  Though the Amish may not always agree with the actions of the government, they consistently respect the laws of the state, which includes paying appropriate taxes.

Taxes the Amish pay include federal and state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and public school taxes, even though most Amish send their children to privately run schools (which they also fund).

Amish may do their annual taxes themselves, or hire an accountant.  Amish accountants and bookkeepers assist Amish individuals and businesses in larger Amish communities.

Amish exemptions

Amish do receive an exemption from Social Security, signing away the right to receive Social Security benefits in the process.  Amish were granted exemption from participation in Social Security in recognition of the fact that Amish communities care for their old and infirm.  Amish also consider programs such as Social Security to be insurance programs, which contradict Amish beliefs against participating in commercial insurance.

Though they are generally exempted from Social Security, in some cases Amish may in fact be required to pay Social Security taxes.  This may happen when working for a business that is of mixed Amish and non-Amish ownership.  Amish business owners are also required to pay Social Security taxes when employing non-Amish workers, or Amish youth that have not yet been baptized in the church.

In some states Amish are also exempt from participating in Worker’s Compensation insurance programs as well.  Amish employers and the community typically help to take care of the injured and sick as well as their families.

For further information, see:

The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald B. Kraybill

Amish Online Encyclopedia: Do Amish use money? and Do Amish use banks?


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