<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?tid=2613570466604&pd[em]=&noscript=1" /> Skip to Content

Do the Amish Pay Taxes? Which Taxes DON’T they Pay? (with Video)

Do Amish pay taxes? Do Mennonites pay taxes? We'll look at the facts for if Amish pay income tax, property taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes, etc.

The tax deadline is upon us, and I wanted to take this opportunity to shed some light on a very controversial topic to attempt to answer the question: do Amish pay taxes?

amish buggy on the road in the country with text overlay "do the amish pay taxes?"

There are several reasons why this topic is so controversial, and two that I would like to address.

Taxes are charged by many levels of governments in order to carry out many different functions. Some of these functions include maintaining and building roads, public transportation, public works, enforcement of law, protection of property, welfare, education, etc.

Whether or not you agree with these functions is another topic all together. However, several of these government functions benefit everyone — Amish included — even though the Amish may not actually contribute to these benefits financially.

The most obvious example is the building and maintaining of roads.

Do Amish people pay taxes for roads? The cost of this is paid for mainly through gas taxes, revenue from driver’s licenses, and money collected through tolls. While the Amish do not pay these consumption taxes, they do use roads and bridges to drive their horse and buggies on.

The second reason why this topic is so controversial? Because of the lack of information that's led to the assumption that the Amish do not pay any taxes at all.

That is simply not true.


There are taxes that are not paid by the Amish, but in each of these cases, it's because:

  • they don't consume the service or product involved and so do not pay the excise/consumption tax
  • they don't take advantage of the government benefit taxes are paid into due to religious reasons, and therefore do not contribute towards its upkeep

Note: In order to receive any of the tax exemptions I am about to discuss below, an Amish person must formally join the Old Order Amish church. Amish join the church when they feel ready to do so, and in most cases this is in the late teen years. Once joining the church there is a form to be filled out that will make them eligible for certain tax exemptions.

Do Amish Pay Taxes? Yes. But Not All of Them

Part of the Amish money life is to pay income taxes, just like the rest of us Englishmen (that’s what they call Americans who are not Amish), and they also take any qualifying Child Tax Credits worth up to $1,000 per child.

But let’s face it: most Amish families have upwards of 8+ children (how else can they run those large farms and family businesses?).

I remember one of our neighbors while I was growing up who had twelve children. When I naively implied that her family was huge, she blushed and said that she has had one new child every two years like clockwork since the beginning of her marriage. This definitely cuts down on their tax bill.

The Amish pay income tax, just like the rest of us Englishmen. Click To Tweet

Since the Amish own a lot of land, they also pay a lot of property taxes.

However, any property taxes paid do not benefit them because they have their own one-room schoolhouses where children are taught by devout, single Amish women until the 8th grade (that is not government-funded).

They also own rather beautiful, typically large homes due to large families — so they're likely paying a pretty penny on property taxes.

I've always wondered this. Do the Amish pay taxes? | https://www.frugalconfessions.com/taxes/do-the-amish-pay-taxes.php

Finally, the Amish are liable for estate taxes as well.

Do Mennonites Pay Taxes?

Yes, Mennonites pay taxes, just like Amish pay taxes.

However, just like the Amish, the  Mennonites are a qualifying religious group who can meet the religious Social Security tax exemption.

Mennonite and Amish Social Security Exemption

The Amish do not collect unemployment, social security, or welfare benefits because doing so would be against their religious beliefs.

As such, they have been exempt from paying into these systems.

This is rooted in their religious belief to insure their kind (specifically the following Bible verse has been cited by the Amish to explain this:

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.”).

In order to receive the exemption, they must waive all rights to receiving Social Security benefits in retirement, they must be self-employed, and they must be a member of a recognized religious sect.

They also must file the Social Security Tax Exemption Form 4029 – Application for Exemption from Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits with the IRS.

Note: if they are not self-employed, and their employer has not filed that same form, then their wages are still subject to Social Security taxes.

They also believe that insurance is an outward sign of a lack of faith in God.

Instead of insurance, they collectively help one another pay medical bills, rebuild homes and farms, etc. When someone has a huge bill that they cannot cover, they stand up in their weekly church ceremony and tell everyone about it. No one leaves until enough money has been raised to cover this expense. In a sense this is insurance, but it is among themselves and does not involve an outside body. The Amish even have an exemption in the new Healthcare law—which mandates that everyone carry health insurance—for these same religious reasons.

Social Security is a form of insurance for old age and survivors, so they do not collect it, nor do they pay into it. This exemption was written into the 1965 Medicare Bill after a very interesting series of events you may wish to read about.

Psst: do Amish have social security numbers? Yes, they do still have social security numbers.

Do Amish File Tax Returns?

Yes. Amish file tax returns — just like the rest of us.

Consumption Taxes Not Paid — Gas and the ‘Sin’ Taxes

Your lifestyle dictates the consumption taxes that you pay.

The same is true of the Amish, who have a much more restrictive lifestyle than most of us. Horse and buggies — the main mode of transportation for Amish — do not use gasoline.

As such, the Amish do not pay gasoline taxes. The federal excise tax on fuel is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. State fuel taxes vary, but average 48.1 cents per gallon and diesel fuel taxes average 53.1 cents per gallon (this includes the federal fuel tax). Federal proceeds go into the United States Highway Trust Fund. State proceeds typically go towards roads and other transportation projects.

Even though the Amish do not contribute towards these funds, their horseshoe-clad horses have been known to do some damage to the roads.

It is interesting to note that certain counties in Indiana and Ohio, where there are a large and growing Amish population, require Amish buggies to get license plates.

I've always wondered this. Do the Amish pay taxes? | https://www.frugalconfessions.com/taxes/do-the-amish-pay-taxes.php

A trek through Amish country in Lancaster PA will show the periodic barn with wooden slats opened to the air. These are tobacco barns that have been modified in order to air-cure tobacco leaves.

While some Amish make money from selling tobacco, they do not purchase cigarettes because they are viewed as ‘worldly’ (that doesn’t mean they do not smoke cigars/pipes and use chewing tobacco, though smoking is forbidden in many Amish sects).

This means that they do not pay taxes on cigarettes, but may pay taxes on other tobacco products. States use tobacco tax revenue in various ways, such as to fund health education programs, early childhood development, breast cancer research, education, etc.

Your lifestyle dictates the consumption taxes that you pay. Click To Tweet

Other ‘sin’ taxes not paid by the Amish are for alcohol or gambling winnings (this is probably not paid by most of us either!).

The Amish do not consume alcohol. As such, they do not pay the alcohol tax. Federal alcohol tax is currently 21 cents on a bottle of wine, 33 cents on a six-pack of beer and $2.14 on a fifth of hard liquor.

State alcohol taxes rates, which vary, generally go into a state’s general fund.

And finding an Amish person in a casino would be like finding my grandmother in couture — it’s not going to happen.

Do Amish pay taxes? I think you can see from above that the answer is yes. They pay some taxes, while others they are exempt from either because of consumption habits, or due to their Social Security Exemption — which they get because they do not receive Social Security benefits when they retire.

Additional Amish Money Resources

Amish Finances + How they Save Money

Amish Teenage Life — How their Parents Manage their Paychecks

The following two tabs change content below.
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.

Ann E

Thursday 7th of July 2022

They grow tobacco ? Knowing it is addictive, And they say that God is O.K. with that? . That to me is two faced.


Thursday 17th of March 2022

Do they pay taxes on there houses, because they use them as Church’s


Wednesday 1st of June 2022

@Deb, Interesting.....good scam, so they probably run it. And for all those who say "but they pay bigtime tax on their land"-- they forget that is taxed at the AG rate and not the RESIDENTIAL rate.

Amanda L Grossman

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

That's a good question - I honestly don't know. I do know that they rotate who hosts church for the week.


Monday 17th of January 2022

Did you say that everybody that isn't ahmish is an English men?

I'm definitely not an English man. I'm an American...

Amanda L Grossman

Monday 17th of January 2022

Hi Chris! No - I said that the Amish call everyone who is non-Amish, Englishmen.

Steal this Amish Blueprint for Managing Your Child's Paycheck

Thursday 10th of June 2021

[…] Psst: Curious if the Amish pay taxes? […]


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

I feel once you are the English in the Amish community you see they pay their sin taxes just like us.. They just pay us to do it for them lol I wish people where I lived understood the tax portion of your article.. It could lessen the English anger by feeling cheated.. In Missouri there is a lot of misunderstanding in our communities shared with Amish.. I have heard so many complain they don’t pay taxes..



Wednesday 1st of June 2022

@Linny, SIN taxes only? What abt the rest they sidestep, which is much much more? Btw, watch the Amish twist & contort their own rules & supposed beliefs: cannot drive a vehicle, so hire another sect to cart then around in minivans. Disdain for the "english"? Yet, they r at our stores & wanna make a buck off us. Better craftsmen cuz they use "hand tools"? No, they just don't use gas powered. And no bigger group who is more cruel to animals, & constantly heads the list of puppymillers. Also fought against Goddard's Law.


Monday 17th of January 2022

@Linny, Missouri? If you live in Missouri, you're an American. Unless they have another Missouri in England.

Also, ANYBODY that calls an American an English men is insulting the American.