Are Amazon fees (referral and fulfilment) deductible?* We sell mainly under the Amazon FBA programme so we ship goods in to Amazon who then fulfil customer orders as they come in. We are charged a referral fee (commission) and fulfilment fee (shipping to customer) by Amazon for each product sold. There is no scenario where we can avoid this except in certain situations, we may recall inventory to return to supplier or sell on an alternative platform such as eBay etc.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Fiqh of the Answer
Amazon FBA, or Fulfilments by Amazon, is a service that allows sellers to store their products in Amazon’s fulfilment centres. Sellers send their inventory to these centres, and Amazon takes care of order processing, packing, shipping, and customer service. When a customer places an order, Amazon picks the product from its warehouse, packs it, and ships it to the customer on behalf of the seller. FBA also handles returns and provides customer support. Sellers pay fees for storage, fulfilment, and other services, making it a convenient option for businesses looking to outsource logistics and scale their operations on the Amazon platform.
Those things which are a debt upon a person can be deducted from the Zakat which one owes. This has clearly been mentioned by Imam al-Qudūrī (d.428 AH).
The fees imposed by Amazon for FBA services cannot be deducted from the Zakat one owes. This is because Amazon’s charges are based on items that have been sold, and the debt is incurred only after the items are sold. Such debts are contingent on future activities and are not debt at the present time. As such, it is improper to deduct costs that are contingent on future activities and are not incurred as of yet.
However, fees related to storage may be eligible for deduction from the Zakat amount, contingent on the fee policies. If, after recalling inventory, a storage fee is still applicable, it becomes a debt owed after signing that batch of inventory up to the FBA programme and can be deducted from the Zakat calculation.
Note: The Zakat that one pays for his business stock is determined based on the market value of the stock on the day he is to pay his Zakat, as mentioned by Muftī Radā’ al-Ḥaq (Ḥafiẓahullah).
And Almighty Allah Alone Knows Best
Maulana Inaamul Hasan Chothia
Reviewed and approved by
Mufti Faraz Adam
Darul Iftaa Muadh ibn Jabal
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وإن كان ماله أكثر من الدين زكى الفاضل إذا بلغ نصابا. (مختصر القدوري)
سوال : ایک شخص اپنی دکان کے مال تجارت کی زکوۃ نکالنا چاہتا ہے تو کس قیمت کے اعتبار سے نکالے قیمت خرید یا قیمت فروخت؟ اور کس وقت کی قیمت کا اعتبار ہوگا ؟
الجواب : صورت مسئولہ میں سامان تجارت کی زکوۃ نکالتے وقت قیمت فروخت کا اعتبار ہوگا (فتاوى دار العلوم زكريا)