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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Saudi Arabia: Zakat evasion will lead to account freeze, travel ban


RIYADH – Bank accounts of firms failing to pay Zakat may be frozen and their owners banned from travel, said Ibrahim Al-Mufleh, director of Zakat Department.
These are the maximum penalties if a series of lesser penalties fail to enforce payment of Zakat.
All government transactions will be suspended until a Zakat payment notice is provided, Mufleh said.
Without evidence of Zakat payment, companies cannot bid for government projects, cannot collect money owed by the government, cannot be issued new work visas, and cannot have their business license renewed, he said.
Zakat is an obligation on Muslims who must pay 1/40th (or 2.5%) of their full-lunar-year wealth.
The Zakat Department collected SR6.5 billion in 2007, a 40 percent rise over the 2006 total. It works closely with other government departments concerned, such as the ministries of Interior and Commerce, to enforce penalties and ensure prompt payment of Zakat, Mufleh said. – Okaz

(Source: Saudi Gazette/by Abdulmohsin Al-Harthi)

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