What is the tax system in an Islamic state like? (Do they use an income tax, property tax, etc.) Also, to what uses does the taxed money go to? (Public expenditures, corrupt political figures,...

What is the tax system in an Islamic state like? (Do they use an income tax, property tax, etc.)

Also, to what uses does the taxed money go to? (Public expenditures, corrupt political figures, infrastructure, etc.)

Thanks for the help

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Jessica Pope | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Taxation is a complex socio-political practice in the Islamic world as in the secular West. Islamic states do collect revenues from their citizenry, with wide variability among nations as to the amount, degree, and processes of collection. Each Islamic state has its own norms and procedures for collecting revenue. These procedures are based in a combination of Islamic scripture, national culture, and political climate.

Islamic theocracies generally collect revenue in a few different ways. The most common form of wealth-based taxation is zakah. Zakah is the religious duty of alms giving. The fund of Zakah is maintained by the Islamic government. Zakah serves as a general collective fund administered by the government. It operates similarly to income tax.

In some states (i.e. Jordan, Bahrain) contributions are voluntary. In others (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan) zakah contribution is mandated by the state. Governments usually collect zakah for certain periods during the fiscal year, at specially designated local or regional zakah centers. Most Islamic states also asses taxes on specific forms if wealth such as land, property, and capital gains. However the practice levying taxes remains controversial; the involuntary nature of state taxation appearing incongruous with the Quran's emphasis on voluntary, pious generosity.

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