Is zakat compulsory on child benefit payments and who is the owner of child benefit payments?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
In principle, zakat is compulsory on one who possesses cash, gold, silver, business stock etc. equivalent to 612.36 grams of silver after deducting any debt to be paid within a year. 2.5% of one’s net assets must be dispensed as zakat after the passing of one lunar year.
Child benefit (or family allowance, children’s allowance) is a social security payment disbursed to the parents or guardians of children. Child benefit payments are transferred into the ownership of the parent/guardian of the child and not the child. The parent is given possession of the child benefit to spend in the best interests of the child.
Thus, when the parent calculates one’s assets to see if they qualify for zakat, child benefit payments will also be included in one’s assets.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Faraz Adam
 وَلَا تَجِبُ إِلَّا عَلَى الْحُرِّ الْمُسْلِمِ الْعَاقِلِ (ف) الْبَالِغِ (ف) إِذَا مَلَكَ نِصَابًا خَالِيًا عَنِ الدَّيْنِ فَاضِلًا عَنْ حَوَائِجِهِ الْأَصْلِيَّةِ مِلْكًا تَامًّا فِي طَرَفَيِ الْحَوْلِ (الاختيار ج 1 ص 99 دار الكتب)
This answer was collected from DarulFiqh.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi, the student of world renowned Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafizahullah).