KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Children with savings exceeding the minimum amount set by the national zakat institutes (nisab) must also contribute to the fund through their parents or guardians, said a religious agency executive.
Utusan Malaysia cited Ahmad Husni Abdul Rahman, assistant manager of the Shariah and Special Information Unit of the Federal Territory Islamic Council’s Zakat Collection Centre (PPZ-MAIWP), as saying many were still unaware of this requirement, blaming it on their limited knowledge of zakat contribution types.
“Many of them are under the impression that only certain types of zakat contributions are compulsory, whereas their children with savings more than the nisab amount are also required pay the 2.5 per cent zakat rate,” he was quoted saying at PPZ-MAIWP forum yesterday.
“This year we have set the nisab value at RM13,968. If savings of the child does not exceed that value, then there is no need for them to make the contribution,” he said.
In Islam, zakat is compulsory tithing that is treated as taxation. In Malaysia, Muslim taxpayers may also use their zakat contributions to offset their income tax obligations.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa announced that zakat collections in 2018 had increased by six per cent to RM651.2 million, compared to the RM615.2 million collected in 2017.
The figures also revealed a RM45.95 million spike in zakat payments from savings, up seven per cent from the RM42.81 million collected in 2017.
Ahmad Husni said parents with multiple savings accounts set aside for their children’s future should take the initiative and total up the money in the accounts to see if they are liable for the payments.
“If the child has savings accounts in three different banks, we need to add up the total of all three accounts and if it exceeds the set nisab value, then it is compulsory to make the zakat contributions.
“This also applies to adults and their savings. This compulsory condition (applies to) people with a lot of assets, even if they are crazy or handicapped,” he was quoted saying.