Do the Amish Pay Taxes?

Amish farmer plowing with horses

Do Amish People Pay Taxes?

There seems to be a myth that Amish people do not pay taxes. So let me go ahead and debunk that myth. It is simply not true.

Though the Amish people may not agree with many of the actions within the government, they are still citizens of our country. And they try to respect and uphold the laws. Amish pay their taxes, the same as the rest of us.

Do the Amish Pay Income Tax?

Yes, the Amish pay income tax. Many Amish men are business owners and are self-employed. And if you take a look at some of the Amish around Lancaster and Holmes County, there are many wealthy Amish business owners. So some of them have to pay pretty hefty income taxes.

And let me just say that even though they only have eighth-grade educations, there are a lot of smart Amish people. I’ve seen a lot of them make wise business investments and get huge tax write-offs. But they are subject to the same laws as any other citizens.

Amish pay taxes

Do Amish Pay Property and Land Taxes?

Of course, the tax laws vary from state to state. But I grew up close to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (we were in Chester County). Where the land prices are sky-high and property taxes are some of the highest in the country. There are a lot of Amish in that area. And believe me, they pay their share of taxes.

I grew up on a hundred-acre farm. And every year at tax time, my Amish dad struggled to come up with the money that he owed to the government. Due to numerous circumstances, we weren’t as well off financially as some of our fellow Amish. And tax time seemed to create a lot of stress for my dad. Some years, he had to sell a couple of acres of land to be able to pay our taxes.

Amish Pay School Taxes

In case you didn’t know, property owners have to pay school taxes, whether they send their kids to public school or not. So the Amish also help to pay for your kids’ schooling. But most of them send their kids to a private school. So not only do they pay to send kids to public school, but they also pay extra to send their kids to a private school.

Do the Amish get any Tax Exemptions?

Many of the Amish do receive an exemption from Social Security tax. And they are signing away the right to receive Social Security benefits in the process.  The Amish are granted an exemption from participation in Social Security, in recognition of the fact that Amish communities care for their own. 

Most of the Amish do not think that it’s right to receive hand-outs or any financial help from the government. They believe that every man must care for his own family. I Timothy 5:8 says “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” They take this verse seriously.

They also consider programs such as Social Security to be insurance programs, which contradict Amish beliefs against participating in commercial insurance. They believe that having insurance is an outward sign of a lack of faith in God. So instead of using insurance companies, they collectively help one another pay medical bills, rebuild homes and farms, etc.

So, many of the Amish are exempt from paying Social security tax or worker’s compensation, because they don’t withdraw and take advantage of this government system. However, Amish business owners are still required to pay Social Security taxes when employing non-Amish workers.

Does Every Amish Person Pay Taxes?

Probably not. Another myth that many people believe about the Amish, is that they are all the same. This is simply not true either.

There is a huge amount of variety among the Amish groups. So just because your Amish neighbor is a good man (or appears to be a good man), does not mean that every Amish person is good. And just because your Amish neighbor steals from you or abuses his kids, it does not mean that all Amish are bad people. They are humans like every other group of people in the world. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the Amish are good people, but there are also plenty of bad ones.

And different Amish groups have different standards and beliefs. So just because the Amish that I grew up with (and everyone that I know of) pay their taxes does not mean that every Amish group does the same.

Amish Pay Taxes

So, in conclusion, let me just say that most of the Amish probably pay more than their fair share of taxes. Especially since they only use a fraction of the local government services (like schooling and police) that their property tax dollars pay for. While many non-farmers use more in services than what their taxes cover.

The Amish try to follow the Bible verse that says, “Give Ceaser what is Ceaser’s”. Many of them don’t get involved in political affairs, but they pay their taxes and pray for the government.

If you want to Learn More About the Amish, read more posts…

Amish Holidays – Which holidays do they celebrate?

Amish in Lancaster County, PA

The Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

Amish Wedding Customs and Traditions

Amish farmer in the field

Check out my YouTube channel at My Amish Heritage

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3 thoughts on “Do the Amish Pay Taxes?

  1. Most Amish are good people. Some are bad. Isn’t that true of any people group?
    What did I learn going to school with you and other Amish, Beachy, Eastern and Wenger children? A good theology – that at times we all got in trouble together. Solid truth in that…

    Solzhenitsyn wrote:
    “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either–but right through every human heart–and through all human hearts…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”

    Wow – that line goes right through my heart.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. So true. All men are evil apart from God. It just seems like some people idolize the Amish and think they are all the same. So, I’m constantly telling people that this simply is not true.

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