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I understand what you're supposed to pay zakat on accumulated money, but if you have an account setup for your monthly bills and you only keep your bills money in their, are you supposed to pay zakat on that money too?

Lets assume I pay $2000USD a month in bills, i.e. rent, electricity, gas, water etc etc.

Assuming I get paid on 2013/07/01, where I deposited $2000USD in my bills only account.

The first of ramadan was on 2013/07/09, where I had around $1500USD remaining in my bills only account. This account will be empty by the end of the money and at the 1st of the next month it will have another $2000USD in it.

If I pay zakat on this money, it means I will not have enough money to pay my usual bills.

So my question, am I supposed to pay zakat on this money too? I am looking for the Hanafi position on this matter.

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Zakat is incumbent on any money that is kept in your possession, so long as it has reached the nisab (which is roughly $430 CAD as of this post; the amount fluctuates with silver/gold prices) for a full year. You do not pay a separate zakat on each of your individual accounts, you would calculate and pay your total zakat based on all of your accounts and zakatable assets.

If your "bills account" is your only zakatable asset, and it is depleted every month/quarter/year (according to the frequency of the bills), then there's no need to pay zakat on it at all, as it has not maintained the nisab for a full year.

If, however, you have multiple accounts (or other zakatable assets), and these accounts combined have reached and maintained the nisab for a complete year, then zakat is due on the total amount in your possession — including the amount in your bills account — even if you have not held all of that wealth for the entire duration.

  • So how would I work this out on savings accounts? As an example only, if I had $50,000 on the 1st of last ramadan, and during this year the money has fluctuated between $45,000 and $60,000 where on the 2013-07-09 I had might have had $52,000. Does that mean I pay zakat on the $45,000, as I didn't have $60,000, or $52,000 for a full year? Sorry, should have said that I am after the hanafi view. – oshirowanen Jul 11 '13 at 19:04
  • Hanafi opinion, afaik, is that zakat would be incumbent on the whole amount in your possession at the end of the year, so long as you have had at least the nisab for that whole year. – goldPseudo Jul 11 '13 at 19:18
  • Which would be $52,000 in this case. So isn't that the same for the bills account? however much is in the account at the end of the year, I pay zakat on according to the hanafi view? So even though the bills account gets depleted monthly, at the time of the new islamic year, it had 1500 in it, which is zakatable? – oshirowanen Jul 11 '13 at 19:21
  • Now that I know you're seeking a specificially Hanafi position, I'mma take some time to tailor my answer a bit more. – goldPseudo Jul 11 '13 at 19:24
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    @oshirowanen I have updated my answer. Also, see related question here inre zakat and general asset fluctuation: islam.stackexchange.com/q/319/22 – goldPseudo Jul 11 '13 at 20:46

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