The Ethics of Tax Evasion in Islam: A Comment

Chapter

Abstract

According to Islam, Muslims have a moral obligation to pay zakat for the support of the poor and for the legitimate functions of government. Thus, evading one’s duty to pay zakat is classified as an immoral act. The Islamic system of taxation is a voluntary one, at least partially, although Islamic literature makes it clear that a government is justified in forcing people to pay taxes if the amount raised by zakat is insufficient to cover all the legitimate costs of government. However, this right of interference with the individual’s personal property will be limited to the extent required by the general welfare of the society. Also, it does not follow that Muslims have a moral obligation to pay whatever taxes the government demands and it does not follow that any and all forms of taxation are legitimate. Thus, a case can be made that some forms of tax evasion, under certain conditions, may not be immoral. The author reviews the literature and discusses the circumstances where tax evasion would not be considered unethical under Islam.

Keywords

Income Cocaine Expense Gasoline 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessFlorida International UniversityNorth MiamiUSA

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