Do Amish pay taxes?

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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  1. margaret p

    didn't know

    I was asked about the amish and why they don’t pay taxes so to find out for myself, I did a little research. I guess now I know. Although, because I live in upstate NY I feel like they can and are buying up a lot of property> do they support each other with the monies to buy property? It seems as though their community is growing.

    1. Amish money-lending

      Hi Margaret, Amish are definitely moving to New York and those communities are growing at a fast pace.

      Amish society is not collective in that they share resources out of one pot, but within the community Amish might lend money at favorable terms, say for a home loan or when starting up a business.

      I think you’ll continue to see more and more Amish in NY as it’s pretty attractive for its available farmland, much cheaper than in places like Southeastern PA.

      1. ken shula

        property taxes

        i was under the impression that they got out of paying property taxes like everyone else because they have their church services at different locations every time. therefore , all of them essentially live on church property. church properties are exempt from many taxes. if that just a myth?

        1. Yoder in Ohio

          Property Taxes

          We do pay property taxes. I never heard the “living on church property” idea before! We pay income tax and property taxes, though. So yes that is a myth.

          1. Jerry

            Taxes returned every year

            After baptizing.they fill out 4029 tax form……Form 4029. A form that one files with the IRS to apply for a religious exemption from payment of FICA taxes and to opt out of the Social Security and Medicare programs. One only files Form 4029 if one is a layperson objecting on religious grounds.

      2. J Sargent

        I live in Upstate, NY where there is a huge presence of Amish. I am glad that they are buying up property, and starting up businesses. We have had some work done by the Amish on our home… they are wonderful craftsmen, and very friendly people.

  2. Randy

    the Amish steel wheels tearing up the roads

    the Amish steel wheels tearing up the roads
    They use there buggy with steel wheels on the highway and don’t pay taxes
    We pay taxes on gasoline for our highway. They use the roads and don’t pay taxes

    1. Anonymous

      In Ind. the Amish pay taxes and have license plates on their buggies. In Ohio a road tax IS collected and a fee charged for each buggy owned. Don’t know about other states.

      1. Matt


        Apparently all the ones around me are illegal then because I have never seen a buggy with license plates.

        1. Yoder in Ohio

          As far as I know, the state of Indiana is the only state requiring license plates. In Ohio we pay our road fees but do not have license plates.

    2. Mark - Holmes Co.

      We pay $50 fee for each buggy we use and this goes towards paying for road maintenance costs in our county. We do buy gasoline. It goes into our generator, lawn mowers, pasture mower, and into other things as mixed fuels (garden tiller, weed eater, chainsaw, etc.) During the winter we can get away with buying 8 – 10 gallons of gasoline a week at the local gas station, but during the warm parts of the year, that often doubles. Add in the $50 per buggy fee and it adds up, especially in a community this size. Just my 2 cents.

      1. do amish pay taxes

        Mark, forgive my ignorance, but Generators, lawn mowers, GARDEN TILLERS, weed eaters, and you are on a computer. What “chapter” of Amish allows that?

        1. Marcus Yoder

          A lot of communities would allow these.

        2. Yes, Mark #2, no offense but I can tell you’re not super-informed about the Amish. Different communities permit different arrays of technology and there is a wide range of what is acceptable between the plainest and most progressive. Mark’s community of Holmes County is home to all of these diverse groups. Yet all are still what we’d consider Old Order or horse-and-buggy Amish. I would recommend trying a good comprehensive book like The Amish by Kraybill, Nolt & Johnson-Weiner.

          1. You are right Erik, I dont. But I’m not afraid to learn. There have been quite a few moving into the township where I live. (south of Lancaster PA) They are buying up the farms in the area that are for sale, which is GREAT!! I would much rather see a farm and fields of corn and hay, than a field of houses!!

        3. Debra Jayne Smith Ruffing

          using equipment

          A lot of communities. It seems to me that a lot of questions are a bit not nice… The thing is that the Amish have many communities. Just like my Catholic church, each is a bit different. There are beachy Amish, Old Order, and many variations in between. I would not worry about what they do however. They are citizens of the US. They make their own way and are not asking for a handout…not on welfare, food stamps, etc. Seems to me that except for some people not Amish who are sick or handicapped or have other reasons, a young man or woman could make their own way just as the Amish do.

    3. Linda

      Property tax

      Most homeowners would pay a county real estate or property tax, plus sales taxes. Some of these taxes may be used toward road projects.

    4. bob shank

      Amish do pay taxes, probably more

      Please people do some scholarly research, you are badly misinformed if you think the Amish don’t pay taxes, they even pay two taxes for school, public and private. They do not however pay social security, nor do they draw from it either. An act that was passed in the 60’s I believe, but they pay property taxes just like everyone else, and wage taxes as well as business taxes.

    5. amish

      In Ind. the Amish pay taxes and have license plates on their buggies. In Ohio a road tax IS collected and a fee charged for each buggy owned. Don’t know about other states.

  3. Jennifer

    School Taxes

    I grew up in Warren County, PA and always thought that the Amish had different rules regarding property taxes since they do not use the public school system. Is there any truth to this?

    1. Mark -- Holmes Co.

      Jennifer, I am Amish and I have never heard of anyone getting exempted from property tax in any way. It COULD be that there are areas where this is not the case, but I’m not aware of any. I live in a very large Amish community and a large portion of the property taxes we pay goes to the public school system, but in our community, there are many Amish children who go to the public schools. We estimate about 30% of the Amish school children in our community attend public schools, though some might start in the public schools and switch to private Amish schools when they are older.

      If you find out that Warren Co. does indeed have different tax laws, I’d be interested in knowing.

      1. Jennifer

        School Taxes

        Interesting! I would wage that there are no Amish students that attend public schools in Warren County. We also have an interesting land ownership situation because there was a mandated sewage line installation that (I think!)only Amish were exempted from. I’ll ask about the taxes. I really appreciate the dialogue; I grew up with Amish neighbors and even took a class called “Amish in the Age of Modernity” in college.

        1. Mark -- Homes Co.

          Jennifer, I’m assuming the Amish in your area don’t have indoor plumbing like we are used to. A recent sewage-line change in our area was paid for by everyone, Amish or not, but many in our neighborhood are on the same water/ sewage system as everyone else. The college course sounds interesting. :0 It would have been interesting to listen in on that one!

    2. Donna

      Ag vs residential property tax

      Hi, I’ve lived in Lancaster County Pennsylvania all 53 years of my life. Buggies & farm equipment do not have the same financial responsibilities as vehicles made for the road. The Amish and Mennonites can fill out form 4029 (exemption from social security and Medicare) properties that have ag zoning pays very little in property/school tax especially when compared to residential properties.
      There are other exemptions but I’m not even getting into business said of things due to my lack of research references.
      I do imagine the Amish were able to ask the state of MI for $14,000 for a handicapped equipped buggy because they didn’t request an exemption from Ss/Medicare otherwise they’d no longer fulfill the requirements

  4. Trish


    Amish may be required to pay taxes and ss and Medicare at some jobs…but all baptized with the church fill out a 2049 tax form…which they receive all paid in at end of year..exemption of FICA ,Medicare and ss