Exemption From Social Security by Reason of Religious Belief
§ 404.1039. Employers (including partnerships) and employees who are both members of certain religious groups opposed to insurance.
(a) You and your employer (or, if the employer is a partnership, each of its partners) may file applications with the Internal Revenue Service for exemption from your respective shares of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes on your wages paid by that employer if you and your employer (or, if the employer is a partnership, each of its partners)—
(i) Makes payment in the event of death, disability, old-age, or retirement; or
(ii) Makes payment for the cost of, or provides services for, medical care including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Act.
(b) Both your application and your employer's application (or, if your employer is a partnership, each partner's application) must be filed with and approved by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to section 3127 of the Internal Revenue Code. An application must contain or be accompanied by the applicant's waiver of all benefits and payments under title II and part A of title XVIII of the Act. See § 404.305 for the effect of the filing of the waiver and the granting of the exemption.
(1) The sect or division of the sect has established tenets or teachings which cause the applicant to be conscientiously opposed to the types of insurance benefits described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section; and
(2) For a substantial period of time it has been the practice for members of the sect or division of the sect to make provision for their dependent members that is reasonable in view of their general level of living; and
(d) An application for exemption will be approved by the Internal Revenue Service only if no benefit or payment under title II or part A of title XVIII of the Act became payable (or, but for section 203 or section 222(b) of the Act, would have become payable) to the applicant at or before the time of the filing of the application for exemption.
(e) The tax exemption ceases to be effective with respect to wages paid beginning with the calendar quarter in which either the employer (or if the employer is a partnership, any of its partners) or the employee involved does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or the religious sect or division of the sect is found by us to no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section. If the tax exemption ceases to be effective, the waiver of the right to receive Social Security and Medicare Part A benefits will also no longer be effective. Benefits may be payable based upon the wages of the individual, whose exempt status was terminated, for and after the calendar year following the calendar year in which the event occurred upon which the cessation of the exemption is based. Benefits may be payable based upon the self-employment income of the individual whose exempt status was terminated for and after the taxable year in which the event occurred upon which the cessation of the exemption is based.
[58 FR 64889, Dec. 10, 1993]