Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
My family and I came to Canada four years ago. For the first six months, our father stayed with us. However, due to a lack of work opportunities, he returned to Saudi Arabia to work as a physician. Our accountant advised us not to declare his salary in Saudi as this will cause problems applying for Citizenship and other governmental procedures.
My question is that due to us not declaring my dad’s income, we received child benefits and tax returns from the government over the four years. Is the money we received haram? If yes, how can we purify it?
This matter needs to be clarified with the accountant and the government body dealing with the child benefit and the tax return. It is permissible to receive such payments as long as they are applied for honestly.
You must return the amount if they tell you you are not eligible for the payments. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Speak the truth, even if it is bitter.” [Ahmad] Doing so will save you from much potential harm further down the road.
If you legally do not need to declare the financial assistance your father provides, that is fine. This is why you should consult with the accountant first. Work within the framework of the law.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani