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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10140
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I HAVE AN AMISH MAN AGE 21 WHO HAS NOT JOINED THE CHURCH YET

Customer Question

I HAVE AN AMISH MAN AGE 21 WHO HAS NOT JOINED THE CHURCH YET AND BECAUSE OF THAT HE DOES NOT HAVE AN APPROVED FORM 4029. IS HE SUBJECT TO SELF EMPLOYMENT TAXES
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 8 months ago.

IRS would say yes, becasue they have (as they always do) construed things around a human convention, religion (a man made convention)

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I would say No, UNLESS he does not have the same beliefs. Formal association is not necessary for objection based on a spiritual belief (IRS says it is)

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The famous 1962 quote from readers digest (after IRS has tried to force the issue and SOME complied) says it best, "Allowing our members to shift their interdependence on each other to dependence upon any outside source would inevitably lead to the breakup of our order."

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This is about a belief system, not about some formal induction into a religion (a man made convention). It's the BELIEF that commercial insurance (the SS & Medicare system is just that, a reliance on a form of insurance rather than on the community). In a sense, insurance is seen as not trusting in God. Insurance plans were a worldly operation (just as religion)

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You say an Amish man, yet you say has not joined the church. This begs the question ... Is he a part of the "order?" If he is sick will the community take care of him? If other around him are in need will he help?

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IRS would say this is a religion issue. I say this is a beliff issue, and would fight for him all the way to the supreme court.

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Honestly you have not provided enough information to answer the question in a real-world/procedural manner.

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In an attempt to do that, answer your question in a way that you can use ... the IRS folks on the front lines would very quickly say he cannot be exempt without the right paperwork.

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A good tax attorney, on appeal, would make this go away (if the young man has the beliefs of his order)

Expert:  Lane replied 8 months ago.

Said differently, if you are not prepared to take this past the knee-jerk reactions of IRS' front lines, the best practical (some would say cowardly) path is to pay the self-employment tax.

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I WOULD add this, if the young man is Amish only by biological heritage, and not a member of the community and belief system, you don't have a shot

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