At RIFT, we know a thing or two about tackling the taxman by phone. In 2017, we spent a grand total of 5,290 hours making a massive 62,635 calls to HMRC on behalf of our customers. That's all time and cash that they would have had to spend themselves without our help.

How many calls manage to get through to HMRC?

The frustrating news is, for a big chunk of the UK's 4.75 million-strong self-employed workforce, the taxman just isn't listening.

A shocking total of over 4 million phone calls to HMRC's helpline went completely unanswered last year. That's 1 in 10 of the total calls received, and practically double the 2016 total.

Worse still, those figures only count the calls that were flat-out ignored. Many more callers were met with engaged tones when they phoned for help with Self Assessment returns or other urgent problems. When you're staring down the barrel of a tax filing or payment deadline, the last thing you need is to be brushed aside.

How easy is it to get the info you need from HMRC?

Of course, the lucky ones whose calls were actually connected didn't necessarily get the help they needed, when they needed it.

Of the 43 million calls made, 14% were left waiting over 10 minutes to speak to someone. That's on top of up to 4 minutes talking to robots as they wound their way through the automated call handling system.

HMRC defends the process on the grounds that they need to make sure callers are directed to the right department. To be fair, they're probably doing their best with what they've got. With their staff cut by 17% since 2010 and 15% of the UK workforce now self-employed, you can see why they get flooded. All told, though, their customer satisfaction ratings are understandably dropping below the targets they were set.

Let RIFT handle HMRC for you, and get your time back.

So, what's the answer when you need immediate tax return help and HMRC's not listening? Why not let RIFT take the strain? We handle well over 40,000 tax returns a year for our customers.

If there's any sitting on the taxman's phone queues to be done, we're always happy to do it. It's all part of our service, too. That means it won't cost you a penny of your cash of a second of your time.

What's more, whatever questions, problems or worries you've got with your taxes, we can take care of them directly. You can get hold of your Personal Tax Specialist whenever you need help or information – whether by phone, email, Livechat or social media.

Talk to RIFT about looking after your tax rebates and tax returns for you. We're the UK's leading tax experts, and we'll never leave you hanging.