Are members of religious groups exempt from paying Social Security taxes?

Members of certain religious groups (including the Amish and Mennonites) may be exempt from paying Social Security taxes. To become exempt, they must: 

  • Waive their rights to all benefits under the Social Security Act, including hospital insurance benefits; and
  • Meet the following requirements:
    • Be a member of a recognized religious sect conscientiously opposed to accepting benefits under a private plan or system that makes payments in the event of death, disability or retirement, or which makes payments towards the costs of or provides for medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by Social Security);
    • Be a member of a religious sect that makes a reasonable provision of food, shelter and medical care for its dependent members and has done so continuously since December 31, 1950; and
    • Have never received or been entitled to any benefits payable under Social Security programs.

To request an exemption from Social Security taxes, get Form 4029—Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Then, file the form with the Social Security Administration (address is on the form).

IRS will either approve or disapprove the application after Social Security determines whether the applicant’s religious sect meets the requirements for exemption.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 34011-3821
  • Date Created: 04/04/2014
  • Last Modified Since: 08/24/2017
  • Viewed: 27128