With the release of How To Train Your Dragon 3 this week, we've started thinking about how HMRC is a fearsome beast, vast and ancient. It makes its nest on a gigantic pile of unclaimed tax refunds – a hoard that grows by hundreds of millions of pounds a year, to hear the bards sing of it. None but the bravest venture into the darkest caverns of tax law to retrieve their yearly refunds. It’s a treacherous path, filled with pit-traps and penalties. To emerge triumphant against the HMRC dragon, you’ve got to train to tackle the taxman, Viking-style.

The Vikings were no strangers to adventures in taxation. In fact, they were as adept at swinging their mighty battle-taxes as any of their more traditional weaponry. So feared were their raids that a whole new tax was invented specifically to avoid them. It was called “Danegeld”, and it was pretty much a bribe to keep your lands safe from Viking invasion. The payments came in many forms, from precious metals to livestock, and the system lasted right up to the 12th century in England. In fact, historians are still digging up more English coins from the Viking period across Scandinavia than in their home soil! All of which just goes to show - the Vikings knew their tax law. Now let’s get back to those dragons.

Just because HMRC can be a terrifying opponent, that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome. In fact, if you’re charging in like a bookkeeping berserker, you probably won’t be looking at much of a treasure chest in reward. You’ve got to plan your approach the Viking way, claiming what you’re owed without unnecessary bloodshed. Just as importantly, you’ve got to realise that not all dragons are monsters and if you know how to work with them, it will turn out better for everyone.

Every year, the tax dragon invades your finances – and it charges in fast. If you’re on PAYE, then it’s actually getting to your income even before you do. It scythes off a chunk of your earnings and flaps back to its mountain for another tax year. It takes a painful bite out of your pay, for sure – but like you, all it really wants is what it’s owed. With the right tools and the right team, the tax dragon can be tamed – and that’s where your RIFT raiding party comes in.

You see, that enormous, ever-growing pile of unclaimed tax refunds HMRC’s sitting on – it’s more than willing to part with your share of it. You’ve just got to stake your claim. Dragons, it turns out, can be reasoned with if you understand them. RIFT’s highly trained adventurers have the experience and equipment to retrieve every last coin of your refund from HMRC’s pile - and to keep you protected as they do it.  

As for what to do with that treasure once your refund’s paid, that’s up to you. In general, we’d advise against burying it in a chest or dark cave it might attract dragons, though. You might want to check out our blog on financial apps to help you manage your cash instead.

You don’t need to claim descent from the mighty Ragnar Lodbrok, or even Hiccup, to get your yearly refund Danegeld (although if you do, we’d love to hear about it). All it takes is RIFT’s expertise, some simple records and a touch of the Viking spirit. Get in touch by phone or email to kick things off. You too could be this happy with the results!

RIFT are the UK's leading tax rebate and tax return experts and have been claiming back overpaid tax since 1999.