CHICAGO — Keith Nickels has joined Grant Thornton LLP as a Tax partner and national leader of the firm’s Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit Services practice.
In this role, Nickels will use a data-forward strategy to transform the firm’s R&D Tax Credit service delivery model for the digital age. Nickels succeeds Mark Andrus in this role, who is retiring on July 31, 2021. Andrus concludes a 21-year career as Grant Thornton’s R&D Tax Credit Services practice leader.
“As we look to grow the firm’s tax services around R&D, it’s important that we bring in leaders that possess a forward-thinking and innovative mindset,” said Ellen Martin, national leader of Grant Thornton’s Strategic Federal Tax Services business line. “Keith’s wealth of knowledge and extensive IRS exam controversy experience make him the ideal leader to build on Mark’s track record of creating a successful R&D tax credit offering at Grant Thornton.”
Nickels has nearly 25 years of public accounting experience with a focus on the R&D tax credit and accounting methods technical areas. He has worked across a large variety of industries, including technology, life sciences, media and entertainment, and aerospace and defense. He specializes in IRS exam controversy and has worked with Fortune 500 and middle-market companies.
Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Nickels was a partner in the Specialized Tax Services group and leader of the Life Sciences R&D Tax Credit practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he led and managed the pursuit and delivery of tax services related to the R&D tax credit and Section 174 expenditures. Before that, he spent more than 20 years with Ernst & Young LLP’s (EY) Tax practice. While at EY, Nickels spent eight years in the national Tax department focused on the R&D tax credit and led the firm’s New York R&D Tax Credit practice.
Nickels is a certified public accountant in Illinois, New York and New Jersey. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where he served as the chairperson of the Tax Policy Taskforce from January 2016 through December 2017. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Grand Valley State University.
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