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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Friday, 4 May 2012 17:08 UK

HMRC self assessment problems

HMRC header
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 05 May 2012 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Since Tuesday 650,000 people have been clocking up fines of £10 a day which could go on for 90 days and then have another £300 added straight after that.

Their offence is that they have not filed their 2010/11 tax return and it is now three months past the deadline.

We hear from some listeners who are so frustrated at not being able to get through on the HMRC phone-lines to sort this out that they have given up altogether, even though they are being wrongly fined.

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Are you being short-changed by your energy company? We hear from one listener who thought she had agreed a set amount for direct debit from her energy supplier, yet found herself being charged nearly double and all the time her account was in credit.

What are your rights when you think you are being over-charged and why does it happen?

Ofgem introduced rules two years ago that meant suppliers must ensure direct debit payments are accurately set and explained.

But customers still report widespread confusion and concerns about direct debit amounts.

Ben Carter reports and we speak to Archna Luthra from moneysaving expert about what you should expect from a direct debit arrangement with your energy company.

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Almost 70,000 households on benefits will shortly receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions, warning them that their benefit will be cut next April when the controversial benefits cap - £500 a week for couples/parents, £350 for childless singles - comes in.

But there are concerns that the letters are being sent to many households who will not be affected.

And some ways of mitigating the reduction are not mentioned in the letter.

Paul Lewis speaks to Gary Vaux, Head of Money Advice Unit at Hertfordshire County Council.

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Arch Cru

Thousands of investors in the failed Arch Cru funds look set for compensation after the Financial Services Authority published a consultation paper on plans to implement a £110m redress scheme.

The FSA suspended Arch Cru funds in 2009 over concerns that the company could not raise enough money to repay investors who wanted to take their money out.

The FSA's announcement is good news for investors but not so good news for IFAs who did not sell the product but are expected to contribute towards the compensation fund.

Paul Lewis talks to Citywire reporter Daniel Grote and Nick Bamford, director of Informed Choice, a financial planning business.

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

Money Box



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