KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): Members of Parliament and public figures who have automatically received the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) cash handouts were deemed eligible based on their income tax assessment data for the year 2018.

In a statement to clarify the BPN payout, the Inland Revenue Board said that recipients who received the handout without registration have been vetted automatically based on individual income assessment data for the year 2018 or the Cost of Living Aid (BSH) database.

The database include Members of Parliament (MPs) and public figures, the IRB said.

“Early checks by the IRB found that the process to determine BPN recipients is in order, and those who were approved have a taxable income level within the range of income that is eligible for BPN.

“Referring to the issue where several MPs and public figures were also eligible to receive BPN, it should be clarified here that the approval was made automatically based on the individual’s income assessment data for the year 2018 in the IRB’s records.

“However, the IRB welcomes MPs who have voluntarily returned the BPN handout,” it said, and also underlined steps for anyone who wishes to return the handout.

There were reports earlier this week that pointed out high-level individuals were found to be eligible for BPN, based on IC number checks on the BPN portal.

Following the reports, some MPs who conducted checks on the portal using their IC number, questioned why they are deemed eligible for the aid.

Under stated guidelines, BPN is eligible for individuals earning less than RM4,000 a month, and households with a total income below RM8,000 per month.

New applications and appeals can be made by those who have not registered for BSH. Taxpayers will have to update their personal data with the IRB.

“The approval of new applications is subject to reviews and verification process,” the IRB said.

Those who wish to return the BPN payout can write a letter with their full name and IC number, together with a bank draft or cheque to Akauntan Negara Malaysia, and send it to Pejabat Belanjawan Negara, Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia, Presint 2, 62592 Putrajaya.

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