The National Board of Revenue has collected over Tk400 crore in taxes
A total of 3,358 people have whitened black money as of 29 November, capitalising on the scope offered to help rejuvenate the country's economy induced by pandemic fallouts.
In this way, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has collected over Tk400 crore in taxes but no data on how much untaxed money was invested has been available.
Experts say the amount of money whitened is very minimal as only a handful of middle-class people have invested their untaxed money in the stock market and real estate.
The big fish with undisclosed money have refrained from taking the money-whitening opportunity, they add.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute, told The Business Standard, "This is what we anticipated before. We knew that there would not be much investment of black money."
Rich people continue to avoid whitening their black money, he added.
This opportunity for the legalising of black money has turned futile, which will eventually discourage good taxpayers from paying taxes.
The government has given the scope for investing black money in the capital market, savings certificates, bonds or any other securities, and depositing in banks, paying a flat 10% tax from 1 July this year.
Undisclosed immovable property can also be legalised by paying a certain amount based on the size and location.
According to NBR sources, this year 138 people have so far invested their black money in stocks, while 3,220 invested in real estate and others.
Since the independence of Bangladesh, most governments have provided the opportunity to whiten black money, but the initiatives have mostly failed to get any serious attention.
Taxpayers whitened undisclosed money amounting to Tk450 crore in the fiscal year 2015-16, but there is no data after that, said NBR sources.
However, the NBR added that around Tk9,000 crore was whitened during the caretaker government era, while this amount is Tk13,372 crore during the 44 years between 1972 and 2016.The government also earned revenue amounting to Tk1,454 crore from this process.
There is currently no accurate statistics on the amount of black money in the country. But a finance ministry report in 2010 revealed that the amount would be around 37 percent of Bangladesh's GDP.
Besides, US-based think tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI) revealed that Tk5,30,000 crore have been laundered from Bangladesh in the ten years between 2005 and 2015. The organisation estimates that more than Tk50,000 crore is being laundered out of Bangladesh every year.
According to a survey conducted by the Bangladesh Economic Association in 2018, undisclosed money amounting to Tk5-7 lakh crore is being circulated in Bangladesh's economy annually.