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Exemption from Social Security

Ministers may be exempt only if they meet many requirements.

Key point. Non—ministers having religious opposition to the acceptance of social security benefits are not eligible for exemption from social security, unless they satisfy a number of requirements, including membership in a sect that provides for the support of its dependent members.

A federal appeals court ruled that mandatory participation in the social security program by a non—minister taxpayer with religious—based opposition to social security did not violate his constitutional rights. The taxpayer refused to pay his self—employment (social security) taxes on the ground that he had religious objections to the social security system. He was not a member of a sect that was opposed to participation in the social security program. The IRS refused to recognize the taxpayer's claim of exemption, and the taxpayer appealed. A federal appeals court agreed with the ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1996

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