Matt Brundage

Zakat and today’s tax code

Some say that Islam’s third pillar, Zakat, was the forbearer of the graduated tax code. Today’s tax code is even more extreme than the ideal proscribed in Zakat. Islam’s across the board tax is a flat tax, not a graduated (progressive) tax. While Zakat implores that 2.5% of one’s annual holdings be given to charity, for it to be a truly graduated code, this percentage would have to be progressively higher as the scale of wealth ascends. For example, one with modest holdings would give 2%, one with holdings over $500,000 would give 2.5%, one with holdings over $1,000,000 would give 3% and so on. A similar type of progressive tax code is one of the major facets of the Communist Manifesto, and has been a part of the US income tax code since World War I.

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