Receiving Tax Refunds Without Due Right

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: For a few years now, I have been receiving government tax refund cheques because my parents have listed me as an employee of their company.  However, I am not actually employed by them (either by verbal or formal contract). I did some work in their office for a few days, but that was years ago.

I have now received cheques which cumulatively amount to thousands of dollars.  I am currently a student in debt and not working.  Is it permissible to use this money at all (whether to pay debts, fund school, etc.)?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Deception is unlawful. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever deceives us is not one of us.” [Sahih Muslim]

As such, you may not derive any benefit from this money, such as by paying for school or paying off debts. Rather you must get rid of the money by giving it away to some charitable cause, without any hope or expectation for reward.

And Allah knows best.
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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