The Cabinet on Thursday (November 24) is believed to have discussed amending laws to levy close to 60 per cent income tax on unaccounted deposits in banks above a threshold post demonetisation.
The move comes amid banks reporting over Rs 21,000 crore being deposited in zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts in two weeks after the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were banned, which authorities suspect may be the laundered black money.
There have been various statements on behalf of the government ever since the demonetisation scheme was announced on November 8, which has led to fears of the taxman coming down heavily on suspicious deposits that could be made to launder black money.
Officials have even talked of a 30 per cent tax plus a 200 per cent penalty on top of a possible prosecution in cases where black money holders took advantage of the 50-day window for depositing the banned currency.
The government may consider bringing an amendment to the Income Tax Act during the current winter session of Parliament to levy a tax that will be higher than 45 per cent tax and penalty charged on black money disclosed in the one-time Income Disclosure Scheme that ended on September 30.
As for those black money holders who did not utilise the window, they would be charged a higher rate which could be close to 60 per cent that the foreign black money holder had paid last year.
Furthermore, the government is keen to root out benami deposits, particularly in Jan Dhan accounts.
There was also talk of the government imposing a limit on domestic gold holding, but it is not clear if the proposal was discussed at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday night.