PUTRAJAYA – A total of 973,067 applicants for the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) aid scheme who have been rejected can submit their appeals at the latest by March 31, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

He said the appeal could be made manually by filling in an appeal form which could be downloaded from ebrim.hasil.gov.my. and submitting it at any of the 85 branches of the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

“The appeals cannot be done online as the applicants must submit information or supporting documents for their applications,” he said at a media conference held at the Finance Ministry, here Wednesday.

He said there were 36 reasons why an individual’s application could be rejected, including a household income of more than RM2,000 and RM4,000 after checks had been made with the relevant agency.

He said other reasons could be the applicant’s identity card number did not exist with the National Registration Department, his status was entered as married but there was no information on the spouse, the actual information of the spouse, and the couple had been blacklisted.

Ahmad said each applicant who failed had been informed by letter and the reason given for the rejection to enable them to provide the supporting documents in their appeals.

He said 7.2 million BR1M applications were approved this year, of which 4.1 million applicants received aid of RM950, 410,000 received RM750 and RM350 given to 2.7 million unmarried persons.

On the complaint that there were 1.4 million applicants who did not get the aid after payment was made on Jan 15, Ahmad said the money would be deposited into their bank accounts beginning next Tuesday.

He said among the causes for the delay was the applicants themselves being late in updating their information, which should have been done before Dec 31.

Another reason was that the majority of the 1.4 million applications submitted their applications manually, making it difficult for payment to be made online, he said.

On the payment of income tax by Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit or debit cards which had been criticised by certain parties, Ahmad said it was not compulsory but was giving the public a choice on the mode of payment.

He said the suggestion was made to the LHDN in April 2008 and the ministry had studied it from various angles before allowing it to be implemented.

“The ministry understands the worry that this may increase the household debt but the main reason for this was to give more options to the individual to pay taxes according to whatever is convenient to them,” he said.

The new service which was announced last Monday was the latest initiative by the LHDN with the Maybank Group to ensure that all tax payments could be made easily and quickly.