Grant Thornton launches tax platform, adds tax expert Keith Nickels

24 February 2021 2 min. read
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Grant Thornton US has launched “ptvault.x,” a cloud-based property tax platform that helps clients boost data transparency and reduce complexity. The accounting and consulting firm also welcomed Keith Nickels as partner and head of the R&D tax credit services practice.

The ptvault.x platform features advanced tracking of property tax documentation, superior workflow processes, a geo-coding system to accurately determine tax jurisdictions and rates, and a predictor to recover potentially elusive pass-through taxes.

The tax team at Grant Thornton will use the platform to help clients estimate tax exposure and meet compliance obligations.

The platform was originally developed for leasing companies, before the consultancy saw its potential and adapted it for all clients with a large number of parcels.

Grant Thornton launches tax platform, adds tax expert Keith Nickels“The ptvault.x value proposition is multifold — it dramatically reduces the time it takes to manage personal-property tax functions, and it delivers more predictable results through our OCR technology and automated-analysis capabilities. It’s a powerful complement to Grant Thornton’s wealth of experience in property-tax valuation, negotiation, and administration,” said Don Lippert, a principal in Grant Thornton’s state and local tax practice.

The Chicago-based firm also announced that Keith Nickels has joined as head of the R&D tax credit practice. He succeeds Mark Andrus, who is retiring after 21 years in the role.

Nickels brings 23 years of public accounting experience, with a focus on research credit and accounting methods technical areas. He has particular expertise in IRS exam controversy, and has worked with mid-market and Fortune 500 firms across numerous industries.

Nickels joins Grant Thornton from PwC, where he was a partner and leader of the life sciences R&D tax credit practice. Before that he spent more than 20 years in EY’s tax division, where he was latterly the head of the New York R&D tax credit practice.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Grand Valley State University and is a certified public accountant in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey.

“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,” said Ellen Martin, national leader of Grant Thornton’s strategic federal tax services business line.