salam. i want to advise a client on how to save money by paying less tax. can i take a percentage based fee based on agreement with him (i take 10%/20% of how much money i save him)? or must i confine myself to a fixed fee? i am very confused as in case of fixed fee, either i have the risk of charging him low in relation to the value i provide for him or vice versa. pls remove my confusion as some scholars say percentage fee are haram while others say its ok. also can i keep some money as non refundable deposit if i agree with him on a given percentage as my fee?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
First of all, there is no harm if you agree with that client to take money in exchange for the advice you provide to him. In order to be on the safe side, it is better to make a Ji’aalah contract with him.
The way this contract is conducted is to agree with the client that if he does save on his taxes, then he gives you a sum of money; there is nothing wrong provided that the amount you will get is a fixed amount and known.
Making the fees in the form of a percentage from the amount that he will save, then if the amount that he will save is known, then it is acceptable to assign your share in the Ji’aalah as a percentage from that amount.
However, if the amount that he will save is unknown, then the scholars differed in opinion about the validity of the Ji’aalah if the compensation is an unknown amount at the time of the contract, provided that this lack of knowledge will not prevent the delivery (of the fees or the compensation).
Ibn Qudaamah said in Al-Mughni:
"The compensation must be known, and the Ji’aalah could be permissible if the compensation is unknown, provided that this lack of knowledge would not prevent the delivery (of the compensation), such as a person saying: 'Whoever finds my lost item, he will get one third of it.'" [End of quote]
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that it is safer to avoid an unknown percentage.
As regards taking some money as nonrefundable deposit, then we did not understand what you exactly meant by this.
Allah knows best.
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