I pray that this question reaches Mufti Sahib in the best of Iman and health.
There is a scenario mentioned hereunder in which I would highly appreciate receiving Mufti Sahib’s guidance according to the Shar’i ruling.
In November 2019 the wife with her children left Canada and went to the U.K. The husband was expecting her to return so he filed the taxes for himself and also the wife. However, the wife’s signature is needed for the form. Hence, in the absence of the wife, the husband, like every year, signed her tax forms. This is because the accountant lets the men of the household sign the tax forms of the womenfolk so they don’t need to come to the office and sign it themselves. This is also the practice of many other accountants in Toronto.
The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) gives child tax to the mother of the children according to the form filed. Since the form was filed, the CRA would give approximately $1100 every month to the mother. Since the mother was in the UK and she has a joint account with her husband, the husband would withdraw the money and send it all to the mother of the children (his wife). He didn’t use a single penny. However, the wife, with clear intentions of getting the husband into trouble, called the CRA to file a complaint against the husband that the she, despite being out of the country, was receiving child tax. Upon being notified, the CRA stopped the child tax and also charged a penalty to the husband. A letter was also sent on the name of the mother that she return the child tax which she had received amounting to $15000.
The wife and her family are asking the husband to pay this amount because he signed the form. However, the wife used all the money and if she didn’t call, the CRA would not have asked for the money. In this situation would it be necessary for the husband to repay the $15000?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
You state that the husband customarily files his wife’s taxes and signs the form on her behalf. Furthermore, the wife never objected until this point. You also state that the CRA was informed of this all and after inquiry, decided to penalize the husband. As for the child tax, the CRA demanded the wife to return the amount paid.
Accordingly, as the CRA has conducted its inquiry after being aware of the full situation and has decided to hold the wife liable for the $15 000, the husband will not be held liable.. Furthermore, as the husband was not explicitly told to not file the taxes, Islamically, he cannot be held liable for the amount that has been re-claimed, on account of his signature. Hence, the wife will be solely responsible to return the $15 000.
We wish to state that it is of paramount importance to obey and follow the law. No steps should ever be taken that would cause one to break the law. A Muslim saves themselves from all sorts of compromising situations.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Mirza-Zain Baig
Mufti Hammad Jogiat
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
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