Last Updated : January 14, 2009
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Form 3800

General Business Credit

Purpose of the form:
Use this form if any of the following applies:

  • The taxpayer has any of the general business credits listed on lines 1r through 1v and 1x through 1z.

  • The taxpayer has more than one of the credits listed on lines 1a through 1q and 1w.

  • Any of the credits listed in above is from a passive activity.

  • The taxpayer has a carry back or carry forward of any of the credits listed above.

Carry back and carry forward of Unused credit:

  • If the taxpayer cannot use part or all of the credit because of the tax liability carry the unused credit back one tax year.

  • No part of the unused credit for any year attributable to any credit may be carried back to any tax year before the first tax year for which that credit was first allowable. Refer the credit ordering rule to determine which credits are allowed first.

  • If the taxpayer has an unused credit after carrying it back, carry it forward to each of the 20 tax years after year of the credit.

Change in filing or Marital Status:

  • The taxpayer’s general business credit is limited to his tax liability. Therefore, if the taxpayer filed  a joint tax return in a carry back or carry forward year and his marital status or filing status has changed, the taxpayer may need to  figure his separate tax liability in that carry back or carry forward year.

  • Although the taxpayer carry back or carry forward of the credit is limited to his separate tax liability, the amount of his refund resulting from carry back or carry forward is further limited to his share of the joint overpayment.

  • For more details refer form 3800 instructions.

Credit Ordering Rule:

General business credit reported on Form 3800 is treated as used on a first-in, first-out basis by offsetting the earliest earned credits first. Therefore, the order in which the credits are used in any tax year is:

  • Carry forward to that year, the earliest ones first.

  • The general business credit  earned in that year, and

  • The carry back to that year.

For more details refer form 3800 instructions.

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