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The Tax Factor

The Top 20 Business and Investment podcast

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The Tax Factor

Since launching in August 2023 The Tax Factor is the UK’s top tax podcast, becoming a Top 20 UK podcast and featuring at #2 in the Apple podcast charts for business podcasts and #1 for Investment podcasts.

Each week The Tax Factor team of experts look at the news and updates in the world of tax and provide analysis of what it might mean for you or your business. We also look at some of the longer-term issues and challenges such as Child Allowances, non-dom tax, Inheritance Tax and even at HMRC itself.

We release a new episode every Friday. Make sure you don’t miss an episode by subscribing via your preferred podcast platform.

How to listen:

The Tax Factor will be released each Friday and available to stream on all major podcast platforms as well as being available on our website.

You can follow and subscribe on your podcast player of choice.

Our BRave Business podcast is also available on our YouTube channel.

You can also sign up for our email notification when new episodes are released.

UK Election 24 Hub

Updates and insights on the 4 July UK General Election

The Election

The Tax Factor – Episode 47

A new Prime Minister, a new Chancellor and a new Government – so what now?

A special post-Election episode recorded the morning of 5 July.

Nimesh Shah and Heather Self share their post-Election analysis and discuss the potential implications of the new Government’s policies.




The Tax Factor – Episode 46

Election 24 

Mind the ‘tax’ gap

In this episode, as the General Election rolls into its final week, Heather Self and Neil Insull discuss some of the challenges for the new Government (whoever it will be), the reality of the ‘tax gap’ and why it is what it is. They also look at what businesses hope to see from the tax system.



The Tax Factor – Episode 45

Election 24 

Halfway already!

We’re already halfway through the General Election campaign and one thing you can bet on is that our experts have the lowdown on the parties’ tax commitments and promises.

This week, Rehana Earle and Robert Salter investigate the Labour and Reform UK Manifestos. Do both parties really understand the nuances and details of the tax system and do the numbers add up?

Finally, Robert looks at a partial victory for a taxpayer against HMRC in the first-tier tribunal.


The Tax Factor – Episode 44

Election 24 

The Manifestos

As the General Election continues, Ele Theochari and Robert Salter dig into some of the detail of the parties’ manifestos, looking at the quirks, hiccups and challenges they contain.

They also look at IR35 and a new process for reporting unethical R&D advisors to HMRC.

The Tax Factor – Episode 43

Election 24 

Inheritance Tax reforms, what’s in store for pensions and getting your Election facts right!

This week on The Tax Factor, Nimesh Shah and Roger Holman review some of the latest General Election tax stories.

They take a look at the parties’ proposals and ideas on Inheritance Tax and, if Sunak and Starmer were listening, what they would be suggesting.

Finally, after delving into the detail of the Conservative’s plans Nimesh, uncovers a £40m error in the ‘Triple Lock Plus’ numbers.

The Tax Factor – Episode 42

Election 24

This week on The Tax Factor Heather Self and Robert Salter are talking about the election, including extra tax allowances for pensioners, VAT School fees and the ‘magic money tree’ collecting another £6 billion from stopping tax avoidance and evasion.

They also review what the parties have shared (and what they haven’t) regarding tax policies in the campaign’s kick-off week.

The Tax Factor – Episode 41

HMRC Service levels (again), one penny tax demands, fiscal black holes and marshmallows (again)

This week on The Tax Factor, Nimesh Shah and Roger Holman look at two HMRC stories in the news: the one penny tax demand and the National Audit Office’s findings that HMRC tax helpline wait times are getting even longer.

The Conservatives and Labour are fighting over tax numbers, but Nimesh and Roger are not really sure that any of them add up. And finally, how HMRC have asked the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against the Upper Tribunal ruling on giant marshmallows!

The Tax Factor – Episode 40

VAT on school fees, confidentiality at tribunals and a third appeal failure for Kwik Fit

This week on The Tax Factor Matt Crawford and Rob Goodley look at the ups and downs of avoiding potential VAT on private school fees.

Former Chancellor Nadim Zahawi discussed his settlement with HMRC in a recent interview and Rob looks at what the reported penalty imposed might tell us about the case. They then explore the principals of anonymity of taxpayers making appeals as well as the unallowable purpose rule on tax deductions for companies after Kwik Fit loses a third appeal.

The Tax Factor – Episode 39

Self-assessment, HMRC pay rises, and tax relief for the games industry

This week, Rehana Earle and Roger Holman are talking about the tax return rule changes that have taken over three hundred thousand people out of self-assessment.

They also look at the unscheduled pay increase HMRC have given their staff to remain compliant, and  share their views on whether the same kind of tax relief that was announced by the Chancellor in the Spring Budget for the film, TV and theatre industries should be extended to the UK games industry.

The Tax Factor – Episode 38

PAYE, Politics & Poppadoms

This week on The Tax Factor, Heather Self is joined by Tomm Adams – as a recent new starter at Blick Rothenberg Heather recommends he check his PAYE code to ensure he’s getting the correct allowances.

They then look at the changes in tax brought about through devolution in Scotland, and provide an update on a VAT case we’ve been following as crisp giant Walkers plans to appeal the tribunal decision on the VAT status of Sensations Poppadoms.

The Tax Factor – Episode 37

Chat GPT, spreadsheet rounding errors and BlackRock loses UK Tax appeal

This week Rob Goodley and Ele Theochari look at a High Income Child Benefit charge case where the use of Chat GPT caused some confusion, but does it mean that more people will rely on AI in their submissions, possibly causing mayhem?

They also discuss how a spreadsheet rounding error to two decimal places led to a shareholder not meeting the threshold for Business Asset disposal relief and how BlackRock has lost an appeal relating to UK tax it sought to reclaim on its acquisition of Barclays Global Investors in 2009.

The Tax Factor – Episode 36

Footballers, foot lotion, sneaky VAT penalties and Italy

In this week’s episode, Rehana Earle and Melissa Thomas look at the latest IR35 case involving Scottish footballer Neil McCann and his employment with SKY, the future of Body Shop after entering administration and seeking a CVA to reduce the company’s tax bill when it returns to profitability, and the impact of the new HMRC VAT penalty points system.

They then look at the lure of Italy as a remote working destination.

The Tax Factor – Episode 35

Marshmallows, tax dodgers, non-doms and pensioners

This week, Heather and Roger are talking about Labour’s proposals to clamp down on “tax dodgers”, what they’re planning to do about non-doms, the impact the plans are already having, and the tax shock that some pensioners might now be facing.

But most importantly, they talk about marshmallows.

The Tax Factor – Episode 34

The end of the (tax) year show

Accountants are lucky people getting two ‘New Years’ to celebrate: the real one and the tax one.

This week on the Tax Factor, Nimesh Shah and Heather Self are looking back at the 23/24 tax year, what’s coming up for 24/25, and they also share their new tax year resolutions.

The Tax Factor – Episode 33

Bumper tax receipts, the problems with Multiple Dwellings Relief and the Reform Party manifesto

This week CEO Nimesh Shah is joined by Corporate Tax Partner Neil Insull as they look at the monthly tax stats, particularly the Government’s major increase in tax receipts this year.

Revisiting the Spring Budget, they question if the changes to Multiple Dwellings Relief were really thought through, and Neil takes a look at the first manifesto ahead of the General Election from The Reform Party, who have some interesting ideas.

The Tax Factor – Episode 32

High Income Child Benefit, the R&D tax industry and changes to minimum wage and sick pay

This week Matt Crawford and Ele Theochari look at a recent High Income Child Benefit charge win for the taxpayer, the effect of a crackdown in the R&D tax industry, and changes to minimum wage and sick pay.

They also talk about HMRC announcing it was to close its phonelines on the 19 March only to change its mind less than 24 hours later.

The Tax Factor – Episode 31

Budget Fallout, Rogue advisors, the Government Gateway replacement and HMRC’s crypto consultation

This week Rob Goodley and Rehanna Earle look at the fallout from the Spring Budget and wonder if the Government really wants to make the non-dom changes or just leave a bit of a mess for a new Government to fix.

HMRC have launched a consultation to attempt to clamp down on rogue tax advisors, whilst it’s been announced that the Government Gateway website is being replaced (but it’s going to be three years until we see it).

Finally, they look at the HMRC consultation on global transparency rules, meaning crypto platforms will have to share client data directly with HMRC, making it much harder to avoid Capital Gains Tax.

The Tax Factor – Episode 30

Spring Budget Special

There’s only one topic of conversation in this week’s Tax Factor: The Budget.

Nimesh and Heather discuss all things property, Non-Doms and Child benefit. Is all the evidence pointing to an Autumn election?

The Tax Factor – Episode 29

There’s a Budget on the way!

This week Heather Self, Melissa Thomas and Nimesh Shah look ahead to the Budget, discussing electric cars, fuel duty and proposals to remove VAT on loo roll.

Heather also has a grumble about the High-Income Child Benefit charge and trying to guess when Rishi Sunak might call an election (and whether he’ll go off to California afterwards).

The Tax Factor – Episode 28

Politician’s tax returns, HMRC Service levels and a warning about tax scams

This week on The Tax Factor, Roger Holman and Robert Salter talk about politician’s tax returns and attempt to get to the truth behind media comments.

They also look at employment challenges and share a warning about phishing scams pretending to be from HMRC.

The Tax Factor – Episode 27

Protein bars, trouble at HMRC, and the Prime Minister’s taxes

This week, Matt Crawford and Rob Goodley look at the Prime Minister’s tax returns, which were released last week, and find them more interesting for what they don’t say than what they do.

There’s a VAT case querying if a product aimed at gym goers is actually confectionery or not. They also look at updated guidance published regarding upcoming changes to CSOP and EMI schemes, and ongoing service issues with HMRC.

The Tax Factor – Episode 26

Loose Women going on strike, a £100m fraud, and HMRC’s tax evasion strategy

This week on The Tax Factor, Rehana Earle and Ele Theochari look at how ITV’s implementation of HMRC’s off payroll working rules has caused a stir with some of its stars.

They also look at a recent fraud case involving dividend payments called Cum-Ex fraud (sometimes called dividend stripping) and how HMRC is set to be given more powers to deal with tax avoidance scheme promoters.

The Tax Factor – Episode 25

Pensions Special

This week it’s a Pensions Special, with Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah joined by Pensions specialist Martin Reynard.

In this episode they cover all things pensions, including over payment of tax when taking money out of pensions and what the differences are between saving in an ISA versus a pension.

The Tax Factor – Episode 24

Record keeping, payrolling and poppadoms (or not)

This week on The Tax Factor Matt Crawford and Ele Theochari are talking about the importance of record keeping after a recent tribunal highlighted that the burden of truth can be on the Taxpayer. They also discuss issues with the payrolling of benefits in kind and the debate over when a poppadom is actually a crisp.

The Tax Factor – Episode 23

Self-Assessment Special

The deadline for Self-Assessment Tax returns is fast approaching, so this week sees Nimesh Shah and Matt Crawford in a special edition of The Tax Factor.

They’ll be looking at some top tips for preparing your tax return as well as the future of Self-Assessment.

The Tax Factor – Episode 22

Sub Postmasters, Online platform earnings and Darts winnings

In the first episode of 2024, Heather Self and Roger Holman discuss some of the tax implications from the Post Office scandal, the recent reporting changes to online platforms that have got some sellers concerned, and the tax bill for Darts World champion runner-up Luke Littler.

They also ask: is anything really going to happen with Inheritance Tax?

The Tax Factor – Episode 21

Christmas Special

In this week’s episode – which is not only our Christmas special but also the last episode of 2023 – Nimesh and Heather look back over the year in tax.


The Tax Factor – Episode 20

Ebay, AI and San Marino

This week Blick Rothenberg Partners Rehana Earle and Ele Theochari look at why HMRC is taking an interest in your online selling, the perils of relying on AI for caselaw in court, and the double tax treaty between the UK and San Marino having finally entered into force…

…as well as the continuing efforts of HMRC to not deal with customers on the phone!

The Tax Factor – Episode 19

R35 – The poor cousin at the tax party

This week Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah is joined by Tax Partner Roger Holman as they discuss a recent case involving TV Journalist Kaye Adams and HRMC and, with some quick calculations, wonder if IR35 is past its sell by date.

They also look at defunct energy supplier Bulb which has incurred a rather large bill for incorrectly applying VAT to a customer referral scheme, how getting through to HMRC on the phones doesn’t seem to be getting better, and Nimesh warns fellow executives about the cost of their Christmas parties and how they might become taxable benefits.

The Tax Factor – Episode 18

Happy Birthday SDLT

This week Heather Self is joined by Property expert and SDLT Partner Sean Randall.

With ‘SDLT’ celebrating its 20th birthday this week, Sean and Heather look at its history, teenage years and future.

Heather also discusses a recent Supreme Court judgment in which the ruling referenced the adultery of Queen Caroline in 1820!

The Tax Factor – Episode 17

The Autumn Statement Special

This week it’s no surprise that we focus on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement.

Nimesh Shah and Heather Self look at the detail of the Budget and give their views on the decisions and actions the Chancellor took, as well as the ones he didn’t.

Heather describes the Budget as “pre-election”, while Nimesh thought the statement was a little bit vanilla. Where was the Inheritance Tax reform and where were the changes to VAT thresholds?

The Tax Factor – Episode 16

T’was the week before the Budget

This week on the Tax Factor, Heather Self is joined by Global Mobility Partner Alan Tam as they look at some of the Chancellor’s options a week away from the Autumn Budget. With record tax receipts and inflation falling to meet the Government’s pledge, might the Chancellor be able to be more generous next week?

There’s also a roundup of the latest tax cases including a fraud case concerning the ‘Eat out to help out’ and ‘Coronavirus Job Retention’ schemes as well as Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland. And as WeWork files for bankruptcy in the US, Alan highlights the importance of having those working remotely correctly managed.

The Tax Factor – Episode 15

One to many letters’, tax avoidance points of principal for HMRC and the start of ‘Silly Season’

This week the Tax Factor is presented by Partners Rob Goodley and Matt Crawford.

While the ‘one to many’ letters sent by HMRC can seem speculative, Rob and Matt warn that they should not be ignored. They then look at a Court of Appeal case that HMRC have lost three times, but HMRC believes is a point of principle on tax avoidance – will they go for a fourth appeal and, if not, what does this mean for their approach?

Finally, they look forward to ‘Silly Season’, the period before the Budget, when rumours, speculation and gossip abound about what may, or may not be in the Autumn Statement.

The Tax Factor – Episode 14

Child Tax Credits, IR35, Indonesian fraudsters and 800 Billon pounds in Government coffers

This week Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah is in the host’s chair talking with Tax Director Robert Salter. In today’s episode they look at the latest ruling in a Child Benefit tribunal ruling, HMRC’s recent activities in Indonesia which resulted in a tax fraudster being caught, and how IR35 is really due a review.

Nimesh and Robert also look at the state of the Government coffers; as annual tax receipts have now exceeded over 800 Billion pounds, might this give the Chancellor some options in the Autumn statement?

The Tax Factor – Episode 13

HMRC VAT classification takes the biscuit and the Supreme Court’s latest ruling on employment related securities

This week Heather is joined again by Tax Director Robert Salter as they try to unravel when a biscuit is subject to VAT or not (apparently it’s all down to where the chocolate is!)

Heather and Robert also take an early look at the possible consequences of the Supreme court ruling on HMRC v Vermilion Holdings Ltd and the potential far-reaching consequences on employment related securities.

The Tax Factor – Episode 12

Liz Truss and her “Growth Budget” and HMRC’s High-Income Child Benefit Charge campaign

This week on The Tax Factor Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah is joined by Global Mobility enthusiast and Blick Rothenberg Partner Rehana Earle.

They discuss Liz Truss, and Trussonomics, with the announcement that she is to publish her own “Growth Budget” in November just a week before the actual Budget and a pet topic of the Tax factor the High-Income Child Benefit Charge although not a pet we are fond of!

The Tax Factor – Episode 11

Did Labour say anything new on tax this week and a spotlight on HMRC Spotlights

Partner Rob Goodley joins Heather this week as they review the Labour Party Conference and ask if we learned anything new about their tax policy and strategy approaching the next election.
There’s been a lot of coverage in social media of an aggressive landlord tax scheme which HMRC have issued a spotlight note on – Heather suggests if something sounds too good, be cautious.

The Tax Factor – Episode 10

It’s looking gloomy on the tax cuts front – unless you’re a teacher!

This week Heather is joined by Tax Director Robert Salter. While the Chancellor says there’s no room for tax cuts at the moment, fiscal drag is creating bumper takes for HMRC. Might we see some kind of tax cuts before the next General Election?

They also look at Labour’s plans for VAT on Private Schooling and discuss potential unexpected consequences of what might qualify as ‘private education’. The Prime Minister also discussed tax free bonuses for Teachers in his speech which Heather describes as unnecessary tinkering with the tax system.

The Tax Factor – Episode 9

No surprise this week – It’s all about inheritance Tax

This week on the Tax Factor Heather Self is joined by Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah. The hot topic this week is Inheritance Tax, with the media reporting that it is potentially going to be abolished by Rishi Sunak. Both Heather and Nimesh unsurprisingly have their own views on whether that should happen and what it would mean.

They then review the recent Bluecrest Tax Tribunal Upper Tier ruling and finally lament that, along with many other individuals and businesses, it looks like tax advisors will be spending longer enjoying the HMRC hold music this coming winter.

The Tax Factor – Episode 8

The Mini-Budget one year on and when is a property derelict?

Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah is joined this week by Tax Investigations and Employment Taxes Specialist Partner Matt Crawford. One year on they look back at the Mini-Budget and the following reversals of….pretty much everything, but were some of those policies, on reflection, actually good ideas?

Another property tax case has caught our attention with HMRC disagreeing with a tax payer over a property being classified as ‘derelict’ costing the tax payer over £12k. Matt and Nimesh then look at a couple of Tax Tribunal cases which hinge on whether the Tax Payer had taken reasonable care in the advice sought.

The Tax Factor – Episode 7

Everybody’s talking about the triple-lock

This week Private Client Partner Neil Lancaster joins Heather as they discuss the future options for managing state pension increases. Neil also highlights the potential bigger elephant in the room – how are pensions going to be paid for in the long term?

They also review recent cases involving the Child Benefit charge which was intended to be a simple pay out for low earning families but can be a trap for anyone filing a personal tax return, and then look at Covid Grant Schemes and wonder if enough is being done to identify and recover fraudulent awards as the recovery rates appear to be very low.

The Tax Factor – Episode 6

Pensions: “What a mess”, and a date with the Chancellor

Heather is joined again this week by Blick Rothenberg CEO Nimesh Shah as they look forward to not so much the “Autumn Statement” as the “Winter Statement” and wonder if the lifetime allowance will be reinstated and the problems that that might cause.

They also discuss the reopening of the HMRC phonelines after it’s summer closure and hope people have a better experience trying to get through than pre closure.

The Tax Factor – Episode 5

Labour hints at post-election tax plans and the chill of freezing thresholds

CEO Nimesh Shah joins Heather this week as Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves gave some insight into Labour’s future tax plans.

They also look at the chill that the freezing of allowances is causing taxpayers and why it’s a popular choice by successive Chancellors and the ongoing headache of VAT inconsistencies as tax on pants makes the headlines.

The Tax Factor – Episode 4

The importance of getting good Stamp Duty advice and the consequences for not doing so

This week Heather is joined by one of the country’s leading experts on Stamp Duty and Property Tax, Blick Rothenberg Partner Sean Randall, so it’s no surprise that we’re talking about property.

We’ll look at what can go wrong on Stamp Duty, how to make sure you’re not a victim of overzealous selling schemes that don’t work, and how to make sure you get proper advice.

The Tax Factor – Episode 3

The perils of poor Stamp Duty Land Tax advice

This week Blick Rothenberg CEO, Nimesh Shah is joined by Corporate Tax Partner Rob Goodley who has a cautionary tale about poor Stamp Duty Land Tax advice that cost the taxpayer a substantial sum, they discuss Falling HMRC standards because of home working and debate Capital Gains Tax.

The Tax Factor – Episode 2

The rules and pitfalls of Inheritance Tax

This week, Partner Rob Goodley joins Heather Self to talk about Inheritance Tax. It’s a topic which has recently been in the headlines again as the Conservatives consider its future, but what are the rules and potential pitfalls?

The Tax Factor – Episode 1

Tax on Pension Pots, and what you need to know about Child Benefit

Joining Heather Self for the first episode is Nimesh Shah, CEO of Blick Rothenberg, as they look at the outputs of the Spring Budget’s ‘Legislation day’, the possible implications of the tax on pension pots and the ongoing issues around Child Benefit.

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