The short answer: some do, some don’t. I touched on this a bit in a previous post which you can read here. This is not a subject I was going to address at great length but we have had this conversation a few times in the last couple of weeks so I thought I would try to clarify a bit. I’m not speaking for all Amish because as with any group of people some probably don’t pay taxes as they should and some are probably very meticulous. Actually, most people pay taxes on all sorts of things like sales tax when buying something, the tax added when you go eat at a restaurant, property tax, income tax, user tax on gas, alcohol and tobacco.
A few weeks back, a lady came into the shop where I work and she made a remark (I’m not quoting word for word here) something like “You guys don’t pay taxes though.” She kind of said it as fact and I nicely informed her that this is simply a stereotype that isn’t true for all Amish. My sister said she got into a similar conversation with someone shortly after. Ironically, I had a conversation with a gentleman (who wasn’t Amish) and if I understood him correctly, he doesn’t pay taxes like we do because of some way he interprets the Bible.
In 1965, Congress exempted the Amish from participating in Social Security. Most Amish believe in taking care of any dependents and elderly themselves and would not rely on government handouts. If any help is needed it would come from the community. I am exempt from Social Security but I have worked at places that were owned by non-Amish or had non-Amish employees and were required to pay this tax. If I understand everything correctly, I had to pay some SS taxes anyway but I won’t get any of the SS benefits or anything like that.
Workman’s Compensation is something that I know some employers don’t pay. I’m not sure why they don’t have to but according to this article on the Free Advice Legal website Indiana law requires employers to pay WC on workers.
I believe that since we live in this world we are to follow the civil laws and give due while we are here as long as it does not interfere with the honor due to God. In Matthew 17:24-27 Jesus told Peter to pay the tribute money due to help with the upkeep of the temple. Jesus, who is the Son of God! Jesus is greater than the temple and in fact owned it so He should not have had to pay, but He said to pay “lest we should offend them”.(verse 27) If our taxes are used towards things like the road systems, police and firefighters, and many of the other things in life that we kind of take for granted, I’m more than happy to pay. I greatly appreciate many of the things in my state and country that my tax dollars are used to help maintain.
As I write this post, I think of how many people are in prison for tax fraud or tax evasion. I think of how often I read about movie stars or the rich and famous not keeping up on their taxes. I don’t think not paying taxes is an Amish thing…it’s just a thing some people think they can get by without doing.
Today‘s author is Michelle Schwartz, the owner of “The Spice Shack” which is a small, home-based business that specializes in bulk spices, medicinal herbs, and loose leaf teas. Check out her online store at www.thespiceshack.org. Michelle enjoys her family, farm life, anything outdoors, and running her shop. She also raises Miniature Hereford cattle as a hobby. We are honored for the opportunity to work with Michelle! Thank you Michelle!