Area of Focus
Federal tax Tax controversy Business tax
Office Location
Washington, D.C.

Patti Burquest

Principal, Washington National Tax Leader

About Patti

Patti Burquest is national leader of the Washington National Tax (WNT) practice at RSM US LLP. An attorney with a Master of Laws in taxation, Patti has more than 35 years of experience handling Internal Revenue Service examination and appeal matters. Her experience includes seven years with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where she coordinated litigation matters and served as an advisor to the special counsel (large case). She joined RSM in 2011 and is a member of the firm’s tax leadership team.


Patti describes her WNT leadership role as “saving somebody’s tax life every day.” She is passionate about helping clients solve complex tax issues. Her procedural knowledge and deep understanding of the inner workings of the IRS provide her with the right set of skills to problem solve for clients. Her technical skills, advanced education and extensive experience complement her natural abilities to listen well and develop solutions to meet client needs.

A collaborative leader, Patti oversees high-performing teams of self-starters in the WNT practice. Her teams are skilled at understanding the impact of existing tax laws, new legislation, IRS guidance and case law, and translating that information for clients. Patti formerly led RSM’s go-to-market and tax controversy teams, and stays close to controversy matters. Her core area of focus is handling IRS issues, including refunds, carrybacks, collections, abatements and penalty resolution.

Patti’s career has spanned several public accounting firms, including 13 years at a Big Four firm from which she retired as partner in 2011. She joined RSM to help grow the IRS controversy practice and became leader of the WNT practice in 2017. She is a frequent speaker at national programs, including the Tax Executives Institute.

As a female leader of the firm’s WNT practice, Patti is a champion of women in leadership positions throughout the firm. She achieves this through her actions as team lead, as well as through her membership in the firm’s STAR employee network group (ENG), formed to identify, develop and ensure the success of high-performing women at RSM. She has also gained valuable insights as part of the firm’s AACE ENG to support Black professionals. She has participated in the group’s book club on racial understanding and has engaged in courageous conversations to deepen interracial dialogue.

The mom of three daughters, including a set of twins, Patti is married to her high school sweetheart whom she met in their hometown of Sarasota, Florida. He is also an attorney involved in tax controversy work, and they enjoy traveling back to Sarasota to spend time outdoors paddleboarding and riding bikes.

Professional affiliations and designations

  • Member of the bar, District of Columbia and Florida
  • Member of the Tax Court Bar
  • Tax Executives Institute, member and speaker
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Florida
  • Juris Doctor, University of Florida
  • LL.M., Taxation, University of Florida