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Taxman says file from Kabul

British soldiers from D Squadron Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at Camp Bastion, Helmand, Afghanistan, on 9 November 2011.
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 21st January 2012 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

British forces serving in combat zones who need to fill in a tax return could face fines of hundreds of pounds if they fail to complete the online form by next week's deadline of January 31st.

The issue has been raised by the wife of a man stationed in Afghanistan who's been struggling to complete his self-assessment return. He contacted HMRC which said it could not give him more time to file his form and has no process in place to give extensions to filing dates for serving members of Her Majesty's Forces.

The programme hears from 'Mary' the wife of the man who's contacted HMRC, and also from MP for Newark Patrick Mercer and Jane Moore, technical manager at the tax faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

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Coins turn to steel

The Royal Mint is beginning to produce new steel 10p and 5p coins, the first change in metal for our 'silver' coins since 1948.

They will be the same diameter and weight but that means they have to be 11% thicker. Will hundreds of thousands of coin operated machinery be upgraded in time?

Paul talks to Jonathan Hilder, CEO of the Automatic Vending Association.

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Cashing in your smartphone

If you've upgraded your mobile phone recently you've probably kept your old one.

If it's a relatively new phone, particularly if it's a smartphone, it might be worth some money. But you have to watch out if you want to maximise your returns. Mike Wendling reports and Paul talks to Brian Turner from Techwatch.co.uk

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Drawdown pensions

If you have a drawdown pension that's recently been reviewed, you'll probably have noticed that the amount of income you're getting each year has been falling.

That's because the rate which determines how much money you can take out of your pension pot has also been falling - to a record low this month of 2.25%.

The government has tried to reassure jittery pension holders by introducing a safety net so customers won't lose out even more. Paul gets advice from Stuart Bayliss from the Better Retirement Group.

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Reclaiming tax on savings interest

Another tax deadline looms.

If you have savings but don't pay tax you have until 31 January to claim back any tax automatically - and wrongly - taken from your interest in 2005/06 and not long to claim that for 2006/07 and 2007/08.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT.



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