Why do Amish not pay taxes?

A lot has been said about the Amish. A traditionalist Christian group, they are often characterized by their physical appearance and their conservative thinking. A common perception is that the Amish do not pay taxes. While this statement has some truth in it, it will be wrong to suggest that they pay no taxes!

Taxes are a sort of compensation by the individual to the government. The government provides the individual with security, health benefits, education and other facilities. In return, it taxes us for these things.  Of particular importance is the Social Security Tax, which ensures that the government takes care of you in times of need such as providing unemployment and welfare funds.  

The Amish strictly believe in the concept of self-sufficiency. They do not rely upon the government to provide for their needs and are often self-employed. If an individual Amish is in need, he would look to his community rather than the government. To take care of their own, they have an effective system of retirement communities and nursing homes. These are funded by the Amish community. Thus, the Amish are exempted from the Social Security Tax, since it is in violation of their beliefs. However all other taxes levied on things such as real estate, income, sales etc. are applicable on the Amish too. These taxes are pertaining to belongings and the Amish are quite willing to pay for them.

To blatantly say that the Amish do not pay taxes would be wrong. A more clear statement is that they do not pay Social taxes, because they believe in being self-sufficient and looking after their own. In a way, they are doing the government a favor by taking ownership of their own community.

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