Zakaah on people’s wealth that is being held by the government

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
It is well known that the storehouses receive the crops of wheat and barley every year, then the people in charge pay the zakaah on it and give the farmers the value of their crops. But this money stays with the storehouse for a number of years. Is zakaah due on it for one year or for all the past years?.
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Praise be to Allaah.

No zakaah is due on that which is with the government whether it is the value of crops or wages or anything else, until one takes possession of it. When you take possession of it, then pay zakaah for one year; even if it stays with the state for five or ten years or more; pay zakaah for just one year, because the fact that the government kept it indicates that there were circumstances that were beyond the creditor’s control. 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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