Zakat Expert

Q1)

From what I have read on various sites, my understanding is that Zakat is calculated as 2.5% of the net assets held by an individual over the preceding lunar year.

Does this mean that the average net assets held by the person over the past year are used or is the end balance used?

The issues you have mentioned have been a subject of discussion and debate amongst scholars.

The view that we advocate is that Zakat is calculated on the end balance of a person’s wealth on their fixed Zakat date. It is important for each individual to have a fixed lunar date for their Zakat payment in order to avoid picking and choosing a date that is more convenient from a cash flow perspective.

If a fixed date is adopted then it is possible that in some years this will be just after an influx of cash and in other years it may be a relatively low point. But as long as one is above the Nisab then one should pay Zakat at 2.5% of the balance. The issue then becomes not whether one has had the end balance for the entire year but whether one has been above the Nisab for the entire year, i.e. owned the minimum quantum of wealth for one lunar year before Zakat is levied.

Q2)

 

Our collective cash and income including my wife and my children equates to less than outstanding credit card debts. I assume there is no Zakat on this amount? We have some gold and silver which would need to weigh. For my pension, do I just include contributions made last year?

 

The only savings we have are children’s trust funds. Do we just include what we have put in? We only have the house we live in which is mortgaged. I am certain after calculating our above assets, it will still be less than our combined debts and we owe money to my parents too.

Cash, gold, silver are correct.

Pension, you need to pay on the basis of the total current pot, not just last year’s contributions. How much Zakat is due depends on the underlying investment. If the pension is held in shares, the simply take 40% of the market value of the pension funds and include in your Zakatable assets.

Child Trust Funds, you should include the non-interest portion of the funds.

Property, yes you ignore.

Are your credit card debts fixed instalment repayments, as in a 0% finance? Or just overdue repayments? If the latter and your last statement is true then no Zakat is due.

If the former then you should not really make any deductions for such repayments. But if you are still below the Nisab, then no Zakat is due.

Q3)

This is the first year I am calculating my Zakat as I am a revert. Do I include my student loans which I am not in a position to repay as yet? I am party to property on two trusts – I do not own the property – it’s for inheritance purposes. How do I get my gold/silver valued? What do I have to do if my payment is delayed/late? I am away from home for work and then emigrating and cannot calculate all my assets in time.

 

Simply ignore your student loan. Do you mean that you are due to receive part of an estate/property as inheritance but you do not own them yet? If not, then it doesn’t seem there is anything to factor in here. The easiest thing to do is to take any gold/silver jewellery to a jeweller and they will value it for you. Whatever they would pay you for it is what you can use to include in your calculation. The alternative is to weight your jewellery and apply the market prices for gold/silver. You have a valid reason for delaying your Zakat payment at the moment but just make sure you take care of it as soon as you can insha’Allah. Next time, you might want to consider starting to prepare in advance!

Q4)

 

I have a few questions. I recently purchased a sofa (interest free) and I pay in instalments per month. I also have various standing orders for things like my mobile phone and utility bills. Do I deduct them for the next twelve months? My water bill is issued annually, so I currently I have a liability to pay around £35 per month which is expected to be paid off by end of this year.

 

You can simply ignore the upcoming payments for the sofa finance. The only scenario in which you should deduct the next 12 months’ worth of payments is if you feel that, by not doing so, you will jeopardise your ability to make those repayments in a timely manner. If you do take the allowance to make the deduction then bear in mind that you are permitted to deduct the non-interest or principal portion only. You do not make any deductions for future payments like utility bills and mobile phone bills. You would only deduct these types of payments if any of your bills are overdue on your Zakat anniversary. In the case of your water bill, you make a deduction if payment is being requested now. If not, then it is better not to make a deduction. If you do make a deduction it should only be for whatever cost has been incurred from the beginning of the current billing period until now.

Q5)

I have a few questions. I was a student until July 2012, and received money from several scholarships/loans, I managed to save some of this money. Am I liable to pay Zakat on this? Now, I am currently in my second year of work, I am paying for my family’s house mortgage on a monthly basis and have saved £10,000 in total. Within the last year (August 2013 – July 2014), I have saved another £5,000. My total is now £15,000. I did not pay Zakat on the amount as I understand the wealth must be held for a year. Is this correct? Finally, I am also saving up to buy a house and I intend to put all my savings into the deposit. Do I still have to pay Zakat on the entire £15,000?

 

Whatever cash you had on your Zakat anniversaries whilst a student would be subject to Zakat as long as your net Zakatable assets were above the Nisab at the time. Establish a specific Zakat date for yourself – let’s say 27th Ramadan – and simply check your situation on that day. Whatever you have on that day, include it all in your Zakat. Don’t worry how long you’ve had each portion of your wealth. If you are above Nisab on the specific Zakat date for yourself, then pay Zakat on what you have now and ignore the fluctuations, unless any fluctuations took you to zero or below zero. Regardless of whether you intend to use the savings for a deposit or not, if you have £15,000 on your Zakat anniversary you pay Zakat on it.

Q6)

 

Please help me to calculate my Zakat. Last year on 15th Ramadan balance I had £4,315 including cash. This year on 15th Ramadan balance I have £3,500 including cash. I have debt of £67,000 of which I repay £1000 per month. I am owed £3000 but the person cannot give me a date for repayment. It has been 12 years and they have not paid me. Someone else owes me £115 and their intention is to pay me as soon as they find a job. They still have not found a job. I have a second property which I receive rental income for each month but that goes towards mortgage payments or debt I owe. I intend to sell the property in September this year and look for another property. The estimated resell value of my property is £126,000. I am not if I have to pay Zakat on rental or resell value?

 

Ignore last year’s balance but include this year’s £3,500 in your Zakatable assets. If the £67,000 is personal debt it is all deductible. If you are confident in receiving debts owed to you? If so, then you should include it in your Zakatable assets especially the £115. Ignore the property value for now since you have not put it on the market yet. Just pay on whatever is left over from your rental income. Overall it seems that you actually do not need to pay Zakat because of the large personal debt of £67,000. You can ignore that if you like and pay on the rest to be safe but this would not be necessary.

Q7)

 

In order to make my Zakat calculation I have considered the following:

All my liquid assets (cash) on the 1st of Ramadhan (29th June 2014). In addition to the above I added the cost of all the gold that I have using the market rate per gram. My liabilities I calculated including the bills I had for the month and also any debt owed for the following year. I took 2.5% of my net assets to work out the Zakat due. Is this correct? I’m slightly confused as to whether I use the cash amount I have on that day (1st Ramadan) or is it supposed to be all the cash that I have held for at least a year?

 

Regarding your liquid assets, this is all correct. You use all the cash you had with you on 1st Ramadan, ignoring any fluctuations over the course of the year. With your gold and silver, your approach is fine but you are permitted to take your gold to a jeweller and use the valuation they give you (which would be lower than the market rate). Regarding debt, you do not deduct any forthcoming bills unless they are due or overdue. For example if you had an electricity bill to pay on 3rd Ramadan you wouldn’t count this in. Only overdue bills are factored in here. Personal debts without any binding contract in relation to repayment terms are fully deductible. For instalment/contractual debts, if you are going to deduct the next 12 month’s payments then this should be the non-interest portion only. The preferred position is not to make this deduction unless you feel that by not doing so you are impacting your ability to make the repayments on time. For example, if someone has £10,000 of cash and pays £1,000 a month for the non-interest portion of their mortgage then they could deduct £12,000 of forthcoming payments from the £10,000 cash and conclude that no Zakat is due. On the other hand they can pay £250 of Zakat on the £10,000 cash, which seems unlikely to have a material impact on their ability to make their forthcoming mortgage repayments. Once you have assessed your Zakatable assets and deductible liabilities to determine your net assets you can apply 2.5% to this and calculate your Zakat due.

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