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NDTO News Article

Exporters turning to Worldwide Trade Partners for tax savings

After five years with international accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fargo-Moorhead native Jim Fyhrie has come home to help the region’s companies save big bucks on their export sales.

At PricewaterhouseCoopers in Minneapolis, Fyhrie, a certified public accountant and software developer, specialized in using advanced software to help some of the largest U.S. exporters take full advantage of cost-cutting tax structures including Foreign Sales Corporations and the Extraterritorial Income Exclusion.

Convinced he could bring the same expertise to small-and medium-sized exporters, Fyhrie left Pricewaterhouse in late 2001. He partnered with three co-workers, two other CPAs and an attorney, who shared his vision, and together they created a new company called Worldwide Trade Partners.

Fyhrie and his partners developed their own software that analyses company sales transactions, profit-loss statements and other data and then calculates how best to apply tax structures and deductions on export sales.

Today, Worldwide Trade Partners has a network of consultants throughout the United States. Worldwide Trade Partners, with offices in New York, N.Y., Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Fargo, specializes in delivering value from complex quantitative computations for U.S. exporters.

At the heart of Worldwide Trade Partners’ work is the Interest Charge – Domestic International Sales Corporation (IC-DISC), a tax structure that allows U.S. companies to reduce their tax liability on export sales.

“We focus on the IC-DISC and refund opportunities related to the Extraterritorial Income Exclusion,” Fyhrie said. “We are the only company outside the nation’s big four accounting firms with experience, software and expertise to optimize these calculations.

“We work directly with companies or we partner with national, regional and local CPA firms to bring our specialized expertise to their clients,” he said.

The IC-DISC tax structure primarily benefits privately held companies that manufacture, produce, grow or extract, Fyhrie said. Worldwide Partners is one of only five companies that provide accounting expertise for IC-DISC.  Although some other states are larger manufacturing bases, Fyhrie said he wanted to bring his family and new company back to Fargo.

“We work all over the United States, but there are many businesses right here in North Dakota and in this region that can really benefit from our services as well,” Fyhrie said.

“A lot of companies aren’t aware of IC-DISC and others aren’t realizing the full benefits,” he said. “It’s very rare that we can’t save a company money.”

Knowing how best to apply IC-DISC can help beginning exporters realize immediate tax savings on sales abroad and can amount to millions of dollars in savings for companies with established foreign sales networks, Fyhrie said.

“The calculation methods are complex and we can determine what method will provide the best deduction,” he said. “By not taking advantage of the IC-DISC, many companies pay more taxes than they should.”

Congress created the IC-DISC tax structure to help U.S. companies sell in the international marketplace. Another export tax credit, the Extraterritorial Income Exclusion is being phased out after the WTO ruled it amounts to an illegal export subsidy.
Through its membership with the North Dakota Trade Office, Fyhrie’s company is working with a growing list of North Dakota exporters to help them cut costs and remain competitive in the international marketplace.

“Our network of export service providers, which includes Worldwide Trade Partners, is a valuable resource for North Dakota exporters,” said Susan Geib, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office.

Dale Formaneck, comptroller at Wahpeton-based WCCO Belting Inc., said Jim Fyhrie and Worldwide Trade Partners is producing results for his growing company.
“He has been able to save us some significant money,” Formaneck said. “Their service can definitely help companies that are involved in foreign sales.”

WCCO Belting is a leading manufacturer of specialized conveyor systems for use in industrial and agricultural markets. The company’s well-engineered, high-quality conveyors and its attention to customer service drive growing sales throughout the United States and in international markets.

Fyhrie’s work for WCCO began with an evaluation of the company’s export sales and tax records for the past two years. That led to WCCO restating its tax filings for the past two years for a significant reduction in tax liability on foreign sales, Formaneck said.

“I’ve got only good things to say,” Formaneck said. “These savings help us to be more competitive.”
Worldwide Trade Partners helped WCCO set up an Interest Charge-DISC and will work with the company to realize future tax savings, Formaneck said.

“There are some opportunities to maybe double our savings,” Formaneck said. “It will help us to be even more competitive.”

For more information about Worldwide Trade Partners visit Jim Fyhrie also can be contacted by phone at (612) 605-4439 or by e-mail at: