General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Form 1120-IC-DISC is an information return filed by interest charge domestic international sales corporations (IC-DISCs), former DISCs, and former IC-DISCs.

What Is an IC-DISC?

An IC-DISC is a domestic corporation that has elected to be an IC-DISC and its election is still in effect. The IC-DISC election is made by filing Form 4876-A, Election To Be Treated as an Interest Charge DISC.

Generally, an IC-DISC is not taxed on its income. Shareholders of an IC-DISC are taxed on its income when the income is actually (or deemed) distributed. In addition, section 995(f) imposes an interest charge on shareholders for their share of DISC-related deferred tax liability. See Form 8404, Interest Charge on DISC-Related Deferred Tax Liability, for details.

To be an IC-DISC, a corporation must be organized under the laws of a state or the District of Columbia and meet the following tests.

  • At least 95% of its gross receipts during the tax year are qualified export receipts.

  • At the end of the tax year, the adjusted basis of its qualified export assets is at least 95% of the sum of the adjusted basis of all of its assets.

  • It has only one class of stock, and its outstanding stock has a par or stated value of at least $2,500 on each day of the tax year (or, for a new corporation, on the last day to elect IC-DISC status for the year and on each later day).

  • It maintains separate books and records.

  • It is not a member of any controlled group of which a foreign sales corporation (FSC) is a member.

  • Its tax year must conform to the tax year of the principal shareholder who has the highest percentage of voting power. If two or more shareholders have the highest percentage of voting power, the IC-DISC must elect a tax year that conforms to that of any one of the principal shareholders. See section 441(h) and its regulations for more information.

  • Its election to be treated as an IC-DISC is in effect for the tax year.

See Definitions on page 3 and section 992 and related regulations for details.

Distribution to meet qualification requirements.   
  • An IC-DISC that does not meet the gross receipts test or qualified export asset test during the tax year will still be considered to have met them if, after the tax year ends, the IC-DISC makes a pro rata property distribution to its shareholders and specifies at the time that this is a distribution to meet the qualification requirements.

  • If the IC-DISC did not meet the gross receipts test, the distribution equals the part of its taxable income attributable to gross receipts that are not qualified export gross receipts.

  • If it did not meet the qualified export asset test, the distribution equals the fair market value of the assets that are not qualified export assets on the last day of the tax year.

  • If the IC-DISC did not meet either test, the distribution equals the sum of both amounts.

  Regulations section 1.992-3 explains how to figure the distribution.

Interest on late distribution.   If the IC-DISC makes a distribution after Form 1120-IC-DISC is due, interest must be paid to the United States Treasury. The interest charge is 4½% of the distribution times the number of tax years that begin after the tax year to which the distribution relates until the date the IC-DISC made the distribution.

  If the IC-DISC must pay this interest, send the payment to the Internal Revenue Service Center where you filed Form 1120-IC-DISC within 30 days of making the distribution. On the payment, write the IC-DISC's name, address, and employer identification number; the tax year; and a statement that the payment represents the interest charge under Regulations section 1.992-3(c)(4).

Who Must File

The corporation must file Form 1120-IC-DISC if it elected, by filing Form 4876-A, to be treated as an IC-DISC and its election is in effect for the tax year.

If the corporation is a former DISC or former IC-DISC, it must file Form 1120-IC-DISC in addition to any other return required.

A former DISC is a corporation that was a DISC on or before December 31, 1984, but failed to qualify as a DISC after December 31, 1984, or did not elect to be an IC-DISC after 1984; and at the beginning of the current tax year, it had undistributed income that was previously taxed or it had accumulated DISC income.

A former IC-DISC is a corporation that was an IC-DISC in an earlier year but did not qualify as an IC-DISC for the current tax year; and at the beginning of the current tax year, it had undistributed income that was previously taxed or accumulated IC-DISC income. See section 992 and related regulations.

A former DISC or former IC-DISC need not complete lines 1 through 8 on page 1 and the Schedules for figuring taxable income, but must complete Schedules J, L, and M of Form 1120-IC-DISC and Schedule K (Form 1120-IC-DISC). Write “Former DISC” or “Former IC-DISC” across the top of the return.

When To File

File Form 1120-IC-DISC by the 15th day of the 9th month after its tax year ends. No extensions are allowed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the corporation may file on the next business day.

Private delivery services.   Corporations may use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following.

  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

  The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.

Where To File

File Form 1120-IC-DISC at the following address: Internal Revenue Service, 201 W. Rivercenter Blvd., Covington, KY 41019.

Who Must Sign

The return must be signed and dated by:

  • The president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer or

  • Any other corporate officer (such as tax officer) authorized to sign.

If a return is filed on behalf of a corporation by a receiver, trustee, or assignee, the fiduciary must sign the return, instead of the corporate officer. Returns and forms signed by a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy on behalf of a corporation must be accompanied by a copy of the order or instructions of the court authorizing signing of the return or form.

If an employee of the corporation completes Form 1120-IC-DISC, the paid preparer's space should remain blank. Anyone who prepares Form 1120-IC-DISC but does not charge the corporation should not complete that section. Generally, anyone who is paid to prepare Form 1120-IC-DISC must sign it and fill in the “Paid Preparer Use Only” area.

The paid preparer must complete the required preparer information and:

  • Sign the return in the space provided for the preparer's signature.

  • Give a copy of the return to the taxpayer.


A paid preparer may sign original or amended returns by rubber stamp, mechanical device, or computer software program.

Other Forms and Statements That May Be Required

Shareholders who are foreign persons.    The corporation should inform shareholders who are nonresident alien individuals or foreign corporations, trusts, or estates that if they have gains from disposal of stock in the IC-DISC, former DISC, or former IC-DISC, or distributions from accumulated IC-DISC income, including deemed distributions, they must treat these amounts as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business conducted through a permanent establishment in the United States and derived from sources within the United States.

Election to reduce basis under section 362(e)(2)(C).   The transferor may make a joint election under section 362(e)(2)(C) to limit the transferor's basis in the stock received instead of the transferee's basis in the transferred property. The transferor can make the election by including the certification as provided in Notice 2005-70, 2005-41 I.R.B. 694 on or with its tax return filed by the due date (including extensions) for the tax year in which the transaction occurred. If the transferor is a controlled foreign corporation, its controlling U.S. shareholder(s) can make the election. The common parent of a consolidated group can make the election for the group.

  If the election is made as described above, no election need be made by the transferee (or any controlling U.S. shareholder thereof).

  Once made, the election is irrevocable. See section 362(e)(2)(C) and Notice 2005-70.

Other forms and statements.    See the Instructions for Form 1120 and Pub. 542 for a list of other forms and statements a corporation may need to file in addition to the forms and statements discussed throughout these instructions.

Assembling the Return

To ensure that the corporation's tax return is correctly processed, attach all schedules and other forms after page 6, Form 1120-IC-DISC, and in the following order.

  1. Schedule N (Form 1120).

  2. Form 4136.

  3. Additional schedules in alphabetical order.

  4. Additional forms in numerical order.

Complete every applicable entry space on Form 1120-IC-DISC. Do not enter “See Attached” or “Available Upon Request” instead of completing the entry spaces. If more space is needed on the forms or schedules, attach separate statements using the same size and format as the printed forms. If there are supporting statements and attachments, arrange them in the same order as the schedules or forms they support and attach them last. Show the totals on the printed forms. Enter the corporation's name and EIN on each supporting statement or attachment.

Accounting Methods

Figure taxable income using the method of accounting regularly used in keeping the IC-DISC's books and records. In all cases, the method used must clearly show taxable income. Permissible methods include cash, accrual, or any other method authorized by the Internal Revenue Code.

Generally, the following rules apply.

  • An IC-DISC must use the accrual method of accounting if its average annual gross receipts exceed $5 million. However, see Nonaccrual experience method for service providers on page 6.

  • Unless it is a qualifying taxpayer or a qualifying small business taxpayer, an IC-DISC must use the accrual method for sales and purchases of inventory items. See Cost of Goods Sold on page 5.

  • A member of a controlled group may not use an accounting method that would distort any group member's income, including its own. For example, an IC-DISC acts as a commission agent for property sales by a related corporation that uses the accrual method and pays the IC-DISC its commission more than 2 months after the sale. In this case, the IC-DISC should not use the cash method of accounting because that method materially distorts its income.

Change in accounting method.   To change its method of accounting used to report taxable income, for income as a whole or for the treatment of any material item, the IC-DISC must file Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method.

  See Form 3115 and Pub. 538, Accounting Periods and Methods, for more information on accounting methods.


Accounting Periods

An IC-DISC must figure its taxable income on the basis of a tax year. A tax year is the annual accounting period an IC-DISC uses to keep its records and report its income and expenses. Generally, IC-DISCs may use a calendar year or a fiscal year.


The tax year of an IC-DISC must be the same as the tax year of the principal shareholder which, at the beginning of the IC-DISC tax year, has the highest percentage of voting power. If two or more shareholders have the highest percentage of voting power, the IC-DISC must have a tax year that conforms to the tax year of any such shareholder. See section 441(h). 

See Pub. 538 for more information on accounting periods and tax years.

Rounding Off To Whole Dollars

The IC-DISC may round off cents to whole dollars on its return and schedules. If the IC-DISC does round to whole dollars, it must round all amounts. To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar (for example, $1.39 becomes $1 and $2.50 becomes $3).

If two or more amounts must be added to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total.


Keep the IC-DISC's records for as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Usually, records that support an item of income, deduction, or credit on the return must be kept for 3 years from the date the return is due or filed, whichever is later. Keep records that verify the IC-DISC's basis in property for as long as they are needed to figure the basis of the original or replacement property.

The IC-DISC should keep copies of all filed returns. They help in preparing future and amended returns and in the calculation of earnings and profits.


The following definitions are based on sections 993 and 994.


United States,” as used in the following instructions, includes Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions, as well as the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Section 993

Qualified export receipts are any of the following.

  1. Gross receipts from selling, exchanging, or otherwise disposing of export property.

  2. Gross receipts from leasing or renting export property that the lessee uses outside the United States.

  3. Gross receipts from supporting services related to any qualified sale, exchange, lease, rental, or other disposition of export property by the IC-DISC.

  4. Gross receipts from selling, exchanging, or otherwise disposing of qualified export assets that are not export property, but only if there is a recognized gain.

  5. Dividends (or amounts includible in gross income under section 951) with respect to stock of a related foreign export corporation (defined below).

  6. Interest on any obligation that is a qualified export asset.

  7. Gross receipts for engineering or architectural services for construction projects outside the United States.

  8. Gross receipts for the performance of managerial services in furtherance of the production of other qualified export receipts of an IC-DISC.

For more information, see Regulations section 1.993-1.

Qualified export assets are any of the following.

  1. Export property (see below).

  2. Assets used primarily in connection with the sale, lease, rental, storage, handling, transportation, packaging, assembly, or servicing of export property, or the performance of engineering or architectural services described in item 7 of Qualified export receipts above or managerial services in furtherance of the production of qualified export receipts described in items 1, 2, 3, and 7 above.

  3. Accounts receivable produced by transactions listed under Qualified export receipts, items 1–4, 7, or 8 above.

  4. Temporary investments, such as money and bank deposits, in an amount reasonable to meet the IC-DISC's needs for working capital.

  5. Obligations related to a producer's loan.

  6. Stock or securities of a related foreign export corporation (defined below).

  7. Certain obligations that are issued or insured by the U.S. Export-Import Bank or the Foreign Credit Insurance Association and that the IC-DISC acquires from such Bank or Association or from the person who sold or bought the goods or services from which the obligations arose.

  8. Certain obligations held by the IC-DISC that were issued by a domestic corporation organized to finance export property sales under an agreement with the Export-Import Bank under which the domestic corporation makes export loans that the Export-Import Bank guarantees.

  9. Amounts (other than reasonable working capital) on deposit in the United States used to acquire qualified export assets within the time provided by Regulations section 1.993-2(j).

See Regulations section 1.993-2 for more information.

Export property must be:

  1. Made, grown, or extracted in the United States by a person other than an IC-DISC;

  2. Neither excluded under section 993(c)(2) nor declared in short supply under section 993(c)(3);

  3. Held mainly for sale, lease, or rent in the ordinary course of a trade or business, by or to an IC-DISC for direct use, consumption, or disposition outside the United States;

  4. Property not more than 50% of the fair market value of which is attributable to articles imported into the United States; and

  5. Neither sold nor leased by or to another IC-DISC that, immediately before or after the transaction, either belongs to the same controlled group (defined in section 993(a)(3)) as your IC-DISC or is related to your IC-DISC in a way that would result in losses being denied under section 267.

See Regulations section 1.993-3 for details.

A producer's loan must meet all the following terms.

  1. Satisfy the requirements of sections 993(d)(2) and (3).

  2. Not raise the unpaid balance due the IC-DISC on all of its producer's loans above the level of accumulated IC-DISC income it had at the start of the month in which it made the loan.

  3. Be evidenced by a note, or other written evidence of indebtedness, with a stated maturity date no more than 5 years after the date of the loan.

  4. Be made to a person engaged in a U.S. trade or business of making, growing, or extracting export property.

  5. Be designated as a producer's loan when made.

For more information, see Schedule Q (Form 1120-IC-DISC), Borrower's Certificate of Compliance With the Rules for Producer's Loans, and Regulations section 1.993-4.

A related foreign export corporation includes the following.

  1. A foreign international sales corporation is a related foreign export corporation if:

    • The IC-DISC directly owns more than 50% of the total voting power of the foreign corporation's stock;

    • For the tax year that ends with or within the IC-DISC's tax year, at least 95% of the foreign corporation's gross receipts consists of the qualified export receipts described in items 1–4 of Qualified export receipts above and interest on the qualified export assets listed in items 3 and 4 of Qualified export assets on page 3; and

    • The adjusted basis of the qualified export assets in items 1–4 of Qualified export assets that the foreign corporation held at the end of the tax year is at least 95% of the adjusted basis of all assets it held then.

  2. A real property holding company is a related foreign export corporation if:

    • The IC-DISC directly owns more than 50% of the total voting power of the foreign corporation's stock and

    • Its exclusive function is to hold title to real property located outside the United States for the exclusive use (under lease or otherwise) of the IC-DISC and applicable foreign law forbids the IC-DISC to hold title to the property.

  3. An associated foreign corporation is a related foreign export corporation if:

    • The IC-DISC or a controlled group of corporations to which the IC-DISC belongs owns less than 10% of the total voting power of the foreign corporation's stock (section 1563 defines a controlled group in this sense, and sections 1563(d) and (e) define ownership) and

    • The IC-DISC's ownership of the foreign corporation's stock or securities reasonably furthers transactions that lead to qualified export receipts for the IC-DISC.

See Regulations section 1.993-5 for more information about related foreign export corporations.

Gross receipts are the IC-DISC's total receipts from selling, leasing, or renting property that the corporation holds for sale, lease, or rent in the ordinary course of its trade or business and gross income from all other sources. For commissions on selling, leasing, or renting property, include gross receipts from selling, leasing, or renting the property on which the commissions arose. See Regulations section 1.993-6 for more information.

Section 994, Intercompany Pricing Rules

If a related person described in section 482 sells export property to the IC-DISC, use the intercompany pricing rules to figure taxable income for the IC-DISC and the seller. These rules generally do not permit the related person to price at a loss. Under intercompany pricing, the IC-DISC's taxable income from the sale (regardless of the price actually charged) may not exceed the greatest of:

  1. 4% of qualified export receipts on the IC-DISC's sale of the property plus 10% of the IC-DISC's export promotion expenses attributable to the receipts,

  2. 50% of the IC-DISC's and the seller's combined taxable income from qualified export receipts on the property, derived from the IC-DISC's sale of the property plus 10% of the IC-DISC's export promotion expenses attributable to the receipts, or

  3. Taxable income based on the sale price actually charged, provided that under section 482 the price actually charged clearly reflects the taxable income of the IC-DISC and the related person.

Schedule P (Form 1120-IC-DISC), Intercompany Transfer Price or Commission, explains the intercompany pricing rules in more detail.

Section 994(c), Export Promotion Expenses

These are expenses incurred to help distribute or sell export property for use or distribution outside the United States. These expenses do not include income tax, but do include 50% of the cost of shipping the export property on U.S.-owned and U.S.-operated aircraft or ships in those cases where U.S. law or regulations do not require that the export property be shipped on such aircraft or ships.

Deficits in Earnings and Profits

A deficit in earnings and profits is chargeable in the following order:

  1. First, to any earnings and profits other than accumulated IC-DISC income or previously taxed income.

  2. Second, to any accumulated IC-DISC income.

  3. Third, to previously taxed income.

Do not apply any deficit in earnings and profits against accumulated IC-DISC income that, as a result of the corporation's revoking its election to be treated as an IC-DISC (or other disqualification), is deemed distributed to the shareholders. See section 995(b)(2)(A).


The IC-DISC may have to pay the following penalties unless it can show that it had reasonable cause for not providing information or not filing a return.

  • $100 for each instance of not providing required information, up to $25,000 during the calendar year.

  • $1,000 for not filing a return.

See section 6686 for other details.

If you receive a notice about penalty and interest after you file Form 1120-IC-DISC, send us an explanation and we will determine if you meet reasonable-cause criteria. Do not attach an explanation when you file Form 1120-IC-DISC.

Trust fund recovery penalty.   This penalty may apply if certain excise, income, social security, and Medicare taxes that must be collected or withheld are not collected or withheld, or these taxes are not paid. These taxes are generally reported on:
  • Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return;

  • Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return; or

  • Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax.

  The trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons who are determined by the IRS to have been responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over these taxes, and who acted willfully in not doing so. The penalty is equal to the unpaid trust fund tax. See the instructions for Form 720 or Pub. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, for details, including the definition of responsible persons.

Other penalties.   Other penalties may be imposed for negligence, substantial understatement of tax, reportable transaction understatements, and fraud. See sections 6662, 6662A, and 6663.

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