Area of Focus
Washington National Tax State & local tax

Brian Kirkell

Principal, Washington National Tax
Area of Focus
Washington National Tax State & local tax

About Brian

Brian Kirkell is principal and leader of the state and local tax group in the Washington National Tax office of RSM US LLP. A licensed attorney, he provides advanced technical analysis of state and local tax issues important to middle market businesses. He joined RSM in 2012 and has more than 20 years of experience with state and local tax issues. 


As SALT leader, Brian supports RSM’s 350-person practice, providing tax services to clients across the United States, including advice on sales and use, credits and incentives, income and franchise, and property tax issues. He drives sustained double-digit growth in the SALT practice by helping RSM teammates become publicly recognized experts and strategizing around what lies ahead for state and local taxes. In this area of constant change, Brian tracks significant state case law and legislative activities daily and coordinates the firm’s response to law changes. He is sought after by clients across the firm for his advanced knowledge in state and local taxes. 

Brian is always looking to the future, anticipating change and finding way to address what’s next to add value for clients and the firm. While he considers himself a SALT generalist, his work has provided him with broad industry experience, including experience in media and technology, pharmaceuticals, energy, manufacturing and retail. He has a deep understanding of the Internal Revenue Code, corporate law and property law. His talents are often applied when clients face income tax issues, large transactions and unitary business issues. Brian applies his high-energy personality to monitor thousands of income tax, sales tax and property tax jurisdictions, and appreciates the opportunity to learn as the area evolves. 

Brian’s people-centric approach drew him to the culture of RSM. In his role as SALT leader, he serves as a mentor and career advisor helping younger RSM professionals discover their passions and be the best practitioners they can be. Prior to RSM, Brian was the in-house tax counsel in charge of state and local taxes at a media company, and he has public accounting experience where he built the SALT practice in the national office of a Big Four firm. 

Brian frequently contributes articles of tax significance for internal newsletters and external publications such as the SALT Matters column in State Tax Notes. He also regularly speaks on state and local tax issues before industry groups and at local, regional and national conferences. He teaches state and local tax policy fundamentals at George Washington University. 

A self-professed technology geek, Brian surrounds himself with new technology and enjoys tinkering with his 3D printers and scanners at home. He loves board games and is a member of the DC Fencers Club. He fences sabre and assists younger fencers in the club to train for the Olympics.  

Professional affiliations and designations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Tennessee
  • Federal Tax Court Bar


  • Bachelor of Arts, history, English, classical studies; University of Rochester
  • Juris Doctor, The George Washington University Law School