Taxes And Zakah

Question

There are lots of people who do not want to pay full tax on their salary. They show their official salary so low that they have to pay minimum taxes Alhamdulillah many in Pakistan and almost everyone in my small company is paying zakat. What I wanted to ask whether paying taxes is as important as paying zakat. Is it one and the same thing? I mean if by zakat formula our zakat payable is Rs 1000 and taxes payable is Rs 1500. Then when we have paid Rs 1500 in taxes do we need to pay the zakah separately?

We have to pay the taxes to the government no matter how corrupt we can claim it to be. But still it needs that amount to run its affairs. And we can see as today petrol prices have been increased by 6 Rs. This is disastrous to a nation. But at their part what can they do. They have to pay for which they need to collect and if we do not pay then they have to charge from us indirectly like this. So isn't this better to adjust tax from zakat. Instead of saying that because I pay full zakat so I can pay 0% tax. My idea is that by doing so I am only putting my fellow countrymen in trouble. I agree that most of the money would be spent on government luxury but still that is their act. They have to be answerable to this not us. I shall be really thankful for your comments in this


Answer

We believe that the Islamic Shari'ah does not allow the state to impose taxes other than the zakah unless and until they expressly give the state the right to do so.

The Holy Qur'an has not of course touched the issue of income tax and issues of application of the directives regarding the zakah and other financial matters. What we have to do is explain our understanding of the Qur'anic directives and exercise ijtihaad. Since the state has no authority to impose any other taxes when it does it violates the basic rights of the individual. When the government receives some amount in income tax while violating our rights we have in fact paid something which we did not owe the state. This leaves us with a right to consider the paid amount as the payable zakah. Therefore if one owes Rs 1500 in taxes and Rs 1000 in zakah he can only pay the taxes. This would mean he has paid the zakah. This is because the zakah is primarily collected by the state.

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