The Interest Charge-Domestic International Sales Corporation (IC-DISC) is the last surviving federal tax benefit for privately-held exporters in the United States. The IC-DISC was originally created by Congress to promote export sales by allowing companies to defer income, with interest charged on the deferred tax.

Exporters that don’t currently have an IC-DISC in place are missing the opportunity to significantly reduce their federal income tax burden each year. The IC-DISC provides U.S. exporters and their shareholders permanent tax savings— 19.6 percent of net export income.

Benefits you’ll love

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Recurring permanent tax savings for shareholders

Typically high benefits relative to costs

Deferral mechanism when earnings are not distributed out of IC-DISC

The ability to tax efficiently, which helps manage cash flow

Potential retirement planning flexibility

Analysis of allocation and apportionment methodologies

Multi-dimensional profitability analysis, useful in business review

And More

How it works

The owner of the operating company forms a tax-exempt IC-DISC. The IC-DISC must maintain its own bank account, accounting records and file U.S. tax returns, but otherwise there are no changes to business operations.

  • The operating company pays a tax deductible commission to the IC-DISC equal to at least 4% of operating company’s gross receipts from qualified exports or 50% of the operating company’s net income from qualified exports.
  • The operating company expenses the commission and reduces ordinary income taxed at a maximum 39.6% rate.
  • The IC-DISC is tax exempt and is not taxed on the commission income it receives from the operating company.
  • The IC-DISC pays dividends to its shareholders, which are taxed at a 20% rate.
  • The result yields a 19.6% permanent tax rate arbitrage (39.6% ordinary rate less 20% dividend rate).


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