Up to 10pc fine plus regular tax
Those seeking to whiten black money may have to pay a fine in addition to normal taxes in the next fiscal year, said a finance ministry official.
Currently, people pay a flat tax -- usually 10 percent -- to get amnesty for black money. But this is going to change except in case of stockmarket and infrastructure bonds, said the official asking not to be named.
In the next fiscal year, one will have to pay normal taxes and a fine between 5 and 10 percent of the undisclosed money he will whiten, said the official.
The matter has already been discussed by the government high-ups and may come up in the finance minister's budget speech.
Scope is there now for legalising black money on a limited scale. One can avail himself of the opportunity by investing in the share market and infrastructure bonds.
In the next fiscal year, the government may allow people to whiten black money from any fiscal year, provided that the sources of undisclosed money are mentioned.
The official said the government is under pressure from some influential quarters to give scope for legalising black money -- income obtained illegally or not declared for tax purposes.
As the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a global anti-money laundering body, strongly opposes giving scope for whitening illegal money, the government is now weighing how to give amnesty for black money without disregarding its international obligations, said the ministry official.
Seeking anonymity, an official of the National Board of Revenue, told The Daily Star last week that none had taken the opportunity in the current fiscal year to legalise undisclosed money by investing in the stockmarket or infrastructure bonds.
Civil society members, economists and even the business community oppose giving such scope. But time and again successive governments have given the opportunity under pressure from some vested quarters.
During the BNP-led government's tenure between 2001 and 2006, the then finance minister Saifur Rahman in a TV interview on the night before a budget day said no scope for whitening black money would be given under any circumstances. But the next day he placed the budget keeping provision for legalising undisclosed money.
Despite the fact that governments have given amnesty for black money almost every fiscal year since 1975, not a big amount of undisclosed money has been legalised each year and the state has not earned much revenue from it.
According to NBR statistics, Tk 12,996 crore has been whitened and Tk 1,368 crore has been collected as taxes since 1975.
The present government has been giving amnesty for black money from its first year in office. In fiscal year 2009-10, it allowed whitening undisclosed money in four sectors, where 1,923 people legalised Tk 923 crore.