There are lots of reasons why RIFT customers keep coming back to us year after year for their tax returns and refund claims. One of the main ones is that we keep you and your money completely safe – even when the taxman makes mistakes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of extra weight on HMRC’s systems and staff, and the strain’s definitely showing. Sometimes, that just means a longer wait to get a payment made or a phone call answered. For less lucky people, though, it’s meant months of frustration and hassle – plus threats from debt collectors over money they don’t even owe!

So what’s actually going on at HMRC right now? More to the point, what’s RIFT doing to protect you?

HMRC Chaos

With the furlough scheme and other coronavirus measures affecting pretty much all of UK life, it’s fair to say the taxman’s been having a rough go of it for the last year or so. Around 5,000 of its staff got reassigned from helping customers to dealing with COVID-19 support schemes. Now that those schemes have ended, it’s taking time to get everyone back up to speed.

This reshuffling, along with a range of other complications and stresses in the system, has resulted in some nasty delays and mistakes creeping in. For example:

  • HMRC chasing people for months over money they don’t owe.
  • People waiting up to 7 months to get the refund pay-outs they’re due.
  • Long delays in getting UTR numbers sent out to people who urgently need them.
  • Weeks of waiting to get a letter answered, and almost a third of online enquiries taking 7 days or longer to process.

It’s not a pretty picture, is it? Believe it or not, it actually gets worse! HMRC has blown so many of its targets that it’s stopped even recording how much of its post it responds to. Meanwhile, with COVID-19 chaos pumping an extra 2.5 million calls through its phone lines, people are waiting an average of 12 minutes for an answer - with 20% of the calls never getting picked up at all!

To be fair, the pressure on HMRC’s been immense. Tax refund claims alone have rocketed up by 70% because of people working from home. On top of that, there’s been a flood of claims for interest back from Payment Protection Insurance schemes to sort through.


However, none of that makes life any easier for people hit by delays, or hounded for debts and fines they shouldn’t even have to pay. That brings us to the big question:

How does RIFT help when HMRC makes mistakes?

When you sign up with RIFT, you’re not just getting a one-and-done service to handle some tricky paperwork. We’re there for you all year round to solve problems, fix HMRC’s mistakes and answer questions. Getting your tax refund or Self Assessment paperwork taken care of by RIFT means:

  • No time wasted sitting on HMRC phone lines, only to get cut off without an answer.
  • No stress or frustration getting records corrected and mistaken penalties wiped out.
  • Complete protection for your money and you with our RIFT Guarantee.

With RIFT in your corner, you never have to deal with HMRC yourself. We’ll sort out all the paperwork, get your refund claims and tax returns on the taxman’s desk fast and chase HMRC until you’ve got what you’re owed.

We've helped our customers by:

  • Turning £2,000 of fines into a £12,000 refund
  • Claiming £8,416 for a customer instead of a £700 fine
  • Transforming a £10,000 debt into a £6,000 refund

Delays are sadly inevitable while HMRC gets its systems back on their feet and its staff back to their desks. With RIFT’s 7 teams of tax experts hard at work, though, we’ll make sure you always get what you’re due as fast as possible, and never pay a debt or penalty you don’t owe.

Find out if you’re owed money today.