15/01/2011

Thousands more pursued for tax after HMRC mistakes:
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says it will be pursuing another 450,000 people over tax it has failed to collect.

These underpayment cases relate to the financial year 2007/08 and are in addition to the 1.4 million people who underpaid through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system in 2008/09 and 2009/10, which HMRC revealed in September.

The problems have been uncovered by a new computer system, installed at HMRC in 2009.

The government has also announced that any earlier tax it failed to gather through tax codes for years before 2007/08 will be written off - though any refunds due to people who have paid too much will be made back to 2004/05.

And 250,000 people who get the state pension, but whose tax was wrongly calculated in 2008/9 and 2009/10, will also be let off their tax bill.

Pensions:
The Pensions Bill 2011 started its progress through Parliament this week.

It implements the more rapid rise in state pension age (it will be at least 66 for anyone born on or after 6 April 1954), and it will introduce the new workplace pensions that start for some in October 2012, and will apply to everyone at work aged between 22 years and pension age who pays tax, from October 2016 - with full contributions due from October 2017.

People will be automatically enrolled in the pension schemes - although it will be possible to opt out.

Tom McPhail, from Hargreaves Lansdowne, joins Paul to discuss the consequences of these planned changes, and the potential costs of waiting for the new workplace pensions to come into force.

Hidden currency costs:
Money Box has discovered that unsuspecting customers could be paying higher charges for currency conversion than they realise.

Some banks and businesses have started making up their own currency exchange rates, which can be significantly higher than the Visa and Mastercard spot rates.

Paul Lewis speaks to Bob Atkinson, from moneysupermarket.com.

Pre-nuptial agreements:
The Law Commission has started a three-month public consultation about whether pre-nuptial agreements should be made legally binding.

We ask what it might recommend, and how you can protect your financial affairs within a relationship as the law stands now.

And we talk to the Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, about his ideas of insuring against divorce costs, and talk to a company that is considering selling divorce insurance in the UK.

Producer: Ruth Alexander.

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30 minutes

Last on

Sun 16 Jan 2011 21:00

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