The power of language when talking about tax with Kirstie Skates

Published on 18 July 2023

Have you ever wondered about the language we use when we talk about tax? And does that language influence or betray how we feel about tax as individuals or as a society? It turns out it is a hot topic of discussion.

In this episode of Taxing Matters, we are delighted to be joined by  Kirstie Skates, founder of “Illume Linguistics”.  Illume Linguistics are a team of linguistics experts who specialise in using techniques from language science to analyse organisational customer and community discourse.  Their focus is on identifying the underlying assumptions and gaps in understanding that get in the way of effective communication between organisations and the people they want to connect with. 

Kirstie has worked in the field of organisational and individual behaviour change for over 20 years and has always been fascinated by the power of language to reveal people's beliefs about themselves, others, and the world around them.  

We discuss, in this episode of Taxing Matters, Kirstie's recent research paper - published in December last year - on the fascinating topic of how tax is framed by the private client industry and linguistic analysis which was commissioned by the “Good Ancestor Movement”.  

Please note these podcasts will not run on Internet Explorer


We hope you enjoy the episode. Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts (or Spotify if you are not using an Apple device) to keep up with future episodes.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify
If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised in this episode, please contact

All information is correct at the time of recording. Taxing Matters is not a substitute for legal advice. Opinions expressed by the speakers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RPC.