Liabilities which may be deducted
Liabilities, for Zakat purposes, may be divided into two categories:
a) Liabilities incurred in acquiring assets which are exempt from Zakat; for example mortgage on immovable property; or installments due under credit sale agreements in respect of plant and machinery, and fittings and fixtures. The amounts of such liabilities are, in the light of modern business conditions, not deductible. If such liabilities were to be deducted, then many businessmen would pay little or no Zakat.
b) Liabilities incurred in acquiring assets which are subject to Zakat; for example, trade creditors (suppliers of business merchandise inventory), and bank overdraft. Such liabilities should be deducted from the total value of the assets subject to Zakat in order to arrive at the net amount on which Zakat is payable. In this regard, the manner in which such a liability is secured (e.g. by registering a bond over immovable property) should be ignored.
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