Turkey’s religious authority wants alms-giving tax deductible

Turkey’s state religious authority has called on parliament to make “zakat”, the alms-giving Islam says all believers should make, tax deductible in order to encourage the practice.

“Muslims who are obliged to give zakat may donate money to food banks or other organisations authorised to collect zakat. The donations will be deduced from one’s tax,” state-run news agency Anadolu quoted Ekrem Keleş, a senior official at the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), as saying.

The Diyanet also laid out conditions that a donation could be considered zakat.

It said the aid should be delivered to a person, that food banks should separate zakat donations from other donations and that those who donate and receive aid should be reviewed and inspected.