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Monday , February 6 2023

Relationship of paying taxes and morality

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For the majority of Muslim clerics, taxes should not be imposed except in cases of extreme necessity, such as a catastrophe or war. The tax must also be stopped with the demise of the cause. When an Islamic state is attacked or threatened and the state needs money to mobilize the army, it imposes taxes on some, and its imposition stops when the cause or danger ceases, therefore, there are no taxes in Islam, and it is not permissible to impose them on Muslims.

However, in the modern era, all the countries of the world except for five or six of them have found that imposing taxes is a foregone conclusion, as there is no way by which the state can pay the huge obligations and dues of others.

In a time of backwardness, and for unjustified reasons, and with the presence of a Parliament that most of its members do not know what the public interest means, and due to great pressure from the religious trend, Parliament in 2006 passed the corporate zakat law, which was imposed only on joint-stock companies and required them to pay a specific percentage of their profits as zakat that goes to the Ministry of Finance.

The law exempted the rest of the companies, some of which amount to several joint-stock companies, and their profitability is much greater from paying that percentage just because they are not shareholding and this is an excuse worse than a sin.

Kuwaiti public and closed shareholding companies are obligated to pay Zakat tax at the rate of 1% of their annual net profits to the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with Law No. 46 of 2006 regarding Zakat.

The money goes to the Ministry of Finance, to be spent in banks specified by law, but no party or individual is aware of how the ministry disposes of these funds, knowing that the law specifies where it is spent.

Paying the tax in almost all countries of the world is the only source of income for the state, through which the salaries of its civil and military employees are paid and spending on the rest of the matters.

The tax on per capita income is highest in Denmark at 56% of income, in France at 55.4%, and so on. Kuwait, the Bahamas, Qatar, Monaco and Panama have no income taxes.

The tax is not only an amount deducted from the income of the individual, or calculated on the profits of companies, or added to the value of goods, but rather it is a rationalization tool for consumption and to push the consumer towards directions that the government sees benefit, or considers leaving it to its harm, such as the tax on alcohol and cigarettes, and an exception is imposed on food and study materials and on medicines.

Its benefits are greater than its harm as long as there is fairness and accuracy in its collection, but the question is: Are we psychologically, practically and organizationally prepared to accept the idea of imposing a tax without preparation that may take years, the most important of which is the elimination of government corruption and waste?

Will we be safe from the emergence of companies and individuals whose mission is to teach citizens and residents how to evade paying taxes, especially since ruined souls are ready and well-prepared to accept that?

How clever our peoples are in defrauding, and justifying them even religiously, and how unfortunate we are in matters related to the public interest.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf