Area of Focus
Washington National Tax Credits & incentives

Tony Coughlan

Senior Manager, Leader, Federal Credits and Incentives

About Tony

As a lawyer and tax expert, Tony is uniquely able to offer timely insight into the applicability of relevant laws to benefit RSM clients’ tax situations. In his role as federal credits and incentives leader in Washington National Tax at RSM US LLP, Tony emphasizes helping clients reduce their effective tax rate through application of section 41 research and development incentives. With a focus on the high-tech and life sciences sectors, his work also involves advising on all general business credits and setting quality standards. Within RSM, Tony leads continuing education efforts through his work on multiple internal articles and presentations.


Tony has been involved in tax policy at all levels of government, including as senior tax counsel on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee during passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Specialized areas of tax knowledge include: 

  • Credits and incentives
  • Tax treatment of research, experimentation and development 
  • International tax
  • Tax policy

Often invited to speak at professional symposiums, Tony has a number of published articles to his credit, including: 

  • “Biden’s proposal to swap FDII for R&E expenditure support,” 103 Tax Notes International 10 (Sept. 20, 2021) – An exploration of proposal to eliminate the foreign-derived intangible income deduction in exchange for research and expenditure support 
  • “Research credit election considerations,” 164 Tax Notes Federal 193 (July 8, 2019) – In-depth analysis of research credit’s interaction with BEAT, GILTI, FDII, state tax, interest deduction and net operating losses in light of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • “Section 174 R&E deduction upon statutory stock option exercise,” 58 Tax Law 435 (2005) – In response to this article, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp proposed 2014 legislation disallowing this deduction
  • “R&D credit regulations considered” (co-author), 2003 Tax Notes Today 213−23 – Problems identified in this Treasury comment letter were fixed by 2013 section 41(f) amendments, on which Tony was lead counsel
  • “Land value taxation and constitutional uniformity,” 7 George Mason Law Review 261 (1999) – This article helped lead to 2002 passage of property tax reform in the Virginia General Assembly, signed by Governor Mark Warner and adopted for Fairfax, Roanoke, Poquoson and Richmond

Within his home community of Fairfax City, Virginia, Tony is actively involved as a Sunday school teacher at his church. He also served three terms as an elected city councilmember, stepping down at the end of his term in 2002 to focus on career and family. During his time in office, Tony successfully lobbied the Virginia state legislature on a bipartisan basis for legislation that enabled the City of Fairfax to propose real property tax reforms. 

Professional affiliations and designations

  • Virginia Bar Association


  • Master of Laws, taxation, Georgetown University
  • Juris Doctor, University of Virginia 
  • Bachelor of Science, math and history, Virginia Tech