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  • Doing Business In A Country Where Bribery Is Common And Social Relationships

    Posted by Muhammad Abdulllah on September 22, 2020 at 1:26 am

    AoA,

    I have practical question related to everyday life in place/country where you feel bribery is common. When sometime I think of doing business in my country I see that bribery is very common it will be difficult or near to impossible to work with people because all officials take bribes. One thing is the work related to office will be very slow or impossible to finish without bribing at all stages and other aspects is people take bribes to wave of duties and taxes on product. By avoid duties and taxes sellers can sell their products cheap as compared to anybody who did not bribe and pays full taxes and duties. I cannot write all the details of question but I hope my point in conveyed. I want to know how to do business in such places?

    Other part of my question is more import, If we have close relatives friends that get into such stuff of taking and giving bribes, what should we do and even after some efforts if we cannot convince them to get out of this how to deal with these kind of people. Should we keep social relationship as normal ? My question is what to avoid what not?

    thanks

    Abdullah

    Umer replied 2 years, 3 months ago 6 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • Doing Business In A Country Where Bribery Is Common And Social Relationships

    Umer updated 2 years, 3 months ago 6 Members · 17 Replies
  • ودود

    Member September 22, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Lets decompose the problem

    1. Many people don’t pay taxes and therefore they can sell product cheaper as compared to those who pay taxes.

    2. One has to bribe authorities to get license, permits, custom clearance etc. even when no “undue favor“ is expected in return.

    3. Is keeping social relationship with those who given or take bribe a sin?

    Have i understood your questions correctly?

  • Rafia Khawaja

    Member September 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I understand that if you have a genuine work where the tax officer will not do it without taking a bribe then you have no choice. You are asking your right and not asking any illegal favour. You give the bribe because the tax officer will not do it without it. Another example. A business man is running a plant where he needs water to run his plant. The man sitting with the valve to open the water pipe line will keep the valve shut until you bribe him. Again you are giving bribe for your rightful demands. Obviously giving bribe to get something illegal like reducing your taxes or electricity or gas consumption is totally wrong.

  • ودود

    Member September 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    True, in a situation where people extort money by exploiting the others situation is not a bribe but a robbery and therefore the victim cannot be blamed for that

    Bribery is something different where the Illegal or unethical benefit is also mutual.

    That was an easy one. More difficult part of the question how can a business afford to pay taxes in a culture where others are not paying tax. This creates an uneven playing field that can drive the tax payers out of business.

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator September 22, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    Bribery is when some undeserving person influences another person’s decision in their favor by offering an item of value. When a person is deserving and/or genuinely wants to follow the protocol then there’s no question of bribery. In a corrupt society if a person is compelled to offer money in order to get what they rightfully deserve then they are free from the blame of bribery.

    The second part of your question has to do with understanding one’s domain, and their responsibilities within that domain. Hopefully the following video will help.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2108007576159815&id=829560384074172

  • ودود

    Member September 23, 2020 at 5:02 am

    Ok got it 👍🏻

    That takes care of point 2 and 3.

    Any views on point 1?

    If one pays tax he goes out of business if he doesn’t, he becomes a criminal.

    • Faisal Haroon

      Moderator September 23, 2020 at 9:17 am

      Paying taxes or zakat is our own duty. If we are conscious of God and the nature of our relationship with Him, then there’s no question of skipping on either. If it risks putting us out of business then we must consider different means of making a living. As true Muslims, we are bound to view everything in this life in the context of the next life, accept all challenges in this life as tests, and base all of our decisions with a firm belief that one day soon enough we will be held accountable for them.

    • Faizan

      Member September 23, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      @faisalharoon @UmerQureshi

      My understanding is if you’re paying taxes then you don’t have to separately pay zakat. If taxes are lower than zakat then differential should be paid. I think Ghamidi sahib has the same opinion

      Government only has authority to collect what is defined by God (Islamic perspective)

      If there’s no zakat collection by govt. but has tax collection then Paying taxes alone would suffice.

      Please correct if I’m wrong

      Thanks

    • Faisal Haroon

      Moderator September 23, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      Yes, that’s correct. If your total zakat due is less than your taxes, then you don’t owe any additional zakat. Since this is a different topic than the original question, I’ll leave it at that. Should there be a need to discuss zakat and taxes further, please don’t hesitate to start a new discussion.

    • Faizan

      Member September 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you @faisalharoon

  • ودود

    Member September 23, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Which of the following options is recommended in a situation where tax payments endanger business survival:

    1. Immigrate to a country with better tax culture

    2. Find another business thats feasible after taxes

    3. Political struggle to demand for enforcement of tax collection across the board

    4. Ask customers to decide if they want a tax invoice and pay price + tax otherwise just pay the price. In that case the sin of tax evasion will be passed on to the consumer.

    5. Close down the business and let the family suffer.

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator September 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Except for #4, I think all are valid options. Some of these are not even mutually exclusive. #4 is still morally wrong in the context of sales tax. According to our agreement with the state, our responsibility includes collection as well as payment of sales tax.

  • ودود

    Member September 23, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Certain things become acceptable under force of necessity. If other options are not doable, don’t you think instead of #5 above, one should continue doing business as per the custom of trade.

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator September 23, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    In principle you’re right, but the principle has certain limitations which can be inferred from the following ayah as well as several others. These limitations must always be kept in mind when taking any such liberty in regards to God’s law.

    Quran 2:173

    Translation by Asad

    He has forbidden to you only carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God’s has been invoked; but if one is driven by necessity – neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -no sin shall be upon him: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

  • Rafia Khawaja

    Member September 23, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    You have to pay your taxes, in any case the government will deduct the taxes from your income and this will show when you file in your annual tax returns. Yes, Ghamidi Sahib has said you can deduct your paid taxes from your Zakat and pay the difference. The taxes in our country are so high that I pay more taxes than my due Zakat!!, but I still pay Zakat whatever I can as infaq

  • Rafia Khawaja

    Member September 23, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I was talking from the point of view of a working woman! I know in business many shop keepers never give you an invoice because then it is on record. You have to pay sales tax that is your moral duty. But in our country it is very un common to get an invoice for things you have bought. The shop keepers avoid paying sales tax

  • ودود

    Member September 23, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Sales tax or VAT is a tax on consumer. If a shop keeper doesn’t give sales invoice most likely he is selling his product cheaper than those who are giving a tax invoice. So both the business and the consumer are buddy in the crime. Business get more customers by making any tax payers businesses go bust and customers get cheaper product as they do not have to pay taxes.

  • Umer

    Moderator October 5, 2020 at 6:41 am

    In recent Q&A Session with Ghamidi Sahab on Questions selected from ASK GHAMIDI Platform:

    For answer to your question, please refer to the video below from 1:11:53 to 1:14:18

    https://youtu.be/6IFA34jO72I?t=4313

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