Answered by Mufti Mohamed Umer Ibrahim
If a couple have debts must zakat be paid for the gold the wife has?
Wa alaik as salam
First of all, you need to understand that even as a couple living together, each spouse is obligated to perform his/her own duties. Debt’s incurred by the husband will not be counted as the wife’s debts and vice versa.
Secondly, in light of the above, if the debts have been incurred by the husband, he may deduct them from his annual zakah i.e. 2.5% of total zakatable wealth owned by the husband only and give the remainder if any.
The wife has to give zakah separately. If she has incurred the debts, she may deduct them from the total zakah due on her wealth only. Otherwise she has to give full zakah on her assets including all gold and silver jewelry.
Both their wealth will not be considered as one unless it is jointly owned.
And only Allah Almighty knows best.