Who Must File
You must file Form 3800 if any of the following apply.
- You have more than one of the credits listed below (other than the empowerment zone employment credit).
- You have general credits from an electing large partnership shown in box 7 of Schedule K-1 (Form 1065-B).
- You have a carryback or carryforward of any of these credits (other than the empowerment zone employment credit).
- Any of these credits (other than the low-income housing credit or the empowerment zone employment credit) is from a passive
- You are claiming the trans-Alaska pipeline liability fund credit.
If you are not required to file Form 3800, file only the applicable credit form(s) listed in parentheses below.
The general business credit consists of the following credits.
- Investment (Form 3468).
- Work opportunity (Form 5884).
- Welfare-to-work (Form 8861).
- Alcohol used as fuel (Form 6478).
- Increasing research activities (Form 6765).
- Low-income housing (Form 8586).
- Enhanced oil recovery (Form 8830).
- Disabled access (Form 8826).
- Renewable electricity production (Form 8835).
- Indian employment (Form 8845).
- Employer social security and Medicare taxes paid on certain employee tips (Form 8846).
- Orphan drug (Form 8820).
- New markets (Form 8874).
- Contributions to selected community development corporations (Form 8847).
- Trans-Alaska pipeline liability fund.
The empowerment zone employment credit, while a part of the general business credit, is figured separately on Form 8844 and never carried to Form
Note: The first credit allowance date for the new markets credit is not expected to be earlier than December 2002. Therefore, Form 8874
will not be issued for 2001.
Carryback and Carryforward of Unused Credit
If you cannot use part or all of the credit because of the tax liability limit, carry the excess credit back 1 tax year. To carry back an excess
credit, file an amended income tax return (Form 1040X, 1120X, or other amended return) for the prior tax year or an application for tentative refund
(Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund, or Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund). Generally, if you
file an application for tentative refund, it must be filed by the end of the tax year following the tax year in which the credit arose.
If you have an unused credit after carrying it back, carry it forward to each of the 20 tax years after the year of the credit. Any qualified
business credits (as defined in section 196(c)) that are unused after that 20-year carryforward period has expired (or at the time a taxpayer dies
or goes out of business) may be taken as a deduction in the first tax year following the expiration of the 20-year carryforward period (or in the tax
year in which the taxpayer's death or cessation of business occurs). For purposes of this special deduction, only half of the following credits may be
taken into account: (a) unused investment credit (other than a credit to which section 48(q)(3) applies as in effect prior to repeal by the
Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1990) and (b) unused credit for increasing research activities.
Do not include any carryback or carryforward of the empowerment zone employment credit on Form 3800. Instead, use Form 8844.
Change in marital status.
Your general business credit is limited to your tax liability. Therefore, if you filed a joint return in a carryback or carryforward year and your
marital status has changed, you may need to figure your separate tax liability in that carryback or carryforward year. This would apply if:
- You filed as single in the credit year, but filed a joint return in the carryback or carryforward year;
- You filed a joint return in the credit year, but filed a joint return with a different spouse in the carryback or carryforward year;
- You were married and filed a separate return in the credit year, but filed a joint return with the same or a different spouse in the
carryback or carryforward year.
Determine your separate tax liability in the carryback or carryforward year as follows.
- Figure your tax for the carryback or carryforward year as though you were married filing a separate return.
- Figure your spouse's tax in that year as though he or she was married filing a separate return.
- Add the amounts in steps 1 and 2.
- Divide the amount in step 1 by the amount in step 3. The result should be rounded to at least three decimal places.
- Multiply the decimal in step 4 by the total tax shown on your joint return for the carryback or carryforward year. The result is your
separate tax liability and a carryback or carryforward credit is applied against this amount only.
Although your carryback or carryforward of the credit is limited to your separate tax liability, the amount of your refund resulting from the
carryback or carryforward is further limited to your share of the joint overpayment. This is found by subtracting your separate tax liability (as
determined above) from your contribution toward the payment.
Unless you have an agreement or clear evidence of each spouse's contribution toward the payment of the joint liability, your contribution includes
the tax withheld on your wages and your share of the joint estimated tax or tax paid with the return. Your share of these payments is found by using
the same formula used in determining your separate tax liability. Substitute the joint estimated tax, or tax paid with the return, for the tax in step
5. If the original return for the carryback year resulted in an overpayment, reduce your contribution by your share of the refund.
Attach to your claim for refund a copy of the computation showing how you made the allocations.
Credit ordering rule.
Unused general business credits are 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:
- Carryforwards to that year, the earliest ones first,
- The general business credit earned in that year, and
- The carryback to that year.
When relevant, the components of the general business credit arising in a single tax year are used in the following order.
- Regular investment credit.
- Rehabilitation investment credit.
- Energy investment credit.
- Reforestation investment credit.
- Work opportunity credit (including any jobs credit carryforward).
- Welfare-to-work credit.
- Credit for alcohol used as fuel.
- Credit for increasing research activities.
- Low-income housing credit.
- Enhanced oil recovery credit.
- Disabled access credit.
- Renewable electricity production credit.
- Indian employment credit.
- Employer social security and Medicare taxes paid on certain employee tips.
- Orphan drug credit.
- New markets credit.
- Credit for contributions to selected community development corporations.
- Trans-Alaska pipeline liability fund credit.
- General credits from an electing large partnership.
Although these credits are aggregated as the general business credit, keep a separate record of each credit to ensure that no credits or deductions
Part I - Tentative Credit
Complete the applicable part (generally Part I) of the appropriate credit form(s) to figure your current year credit(s). Enter this amount on the
applicable line 1 entry space(s) and attach the credit form(s) to your return.
Attach a statement showing how you figured the section 4612(e) credit.
Enter the total of the amounts shown in box 7 of the Schedules K-1 (Form 1065-B) you received from electing large partnerships.
Enter the credits included on line 2 that are from passive activities. Generally, a passive activity is a trade or business in which you did not
materially participate. Generally, rental activities are passive activities, whether or not you materially participate. See Form 8582-CR,
Passive Activity Credit Limitations, or Form 8810, Corporate Passive Activity Loss and Credit Limitations, for details.
Enter the passive activity credit allowed for 2001 from Form 8582-CR or Form 8810. See the instructions for the applicable form for details.
Add all carryforwards of unused credits that make up the general business credit to find the business credit carryforward to 2001.
For each credit, attach a detailed computation showing (a) the tax year the credit originated, the amount of the credit, and the amount
allowed for that year; (b) for each carryback year, the year and the amount of the credit allowed after you applied the carryback; and
(c) for each carryforward year, the year and the amount of the credit allowed after you applied the carryforward.
You must reduce by 35% the portion of the business credit carryforward attributable to sections 46(a)(1) regular investment credit and 46(b)(2)(C)
and (D) business energy investment credit (as in effect prior to the repeal of these three sections by the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1990).
Include the reduced credit on line 6. Do not reduce any portion of the credit attributable to qualified timber property. If you cannot use
all of the reduced credit because line 18a is smaller than line 8, carry forward to your next tax year in the carryforward period the unused portion
of the credit and a corresponding portion of the 35% reduction. For example, if you are able to use only half of the credit in 2001, carry forward the
other half of the credit and half of the 35% reduction.
Use only when you amend your 2001 return to carry back unused credits from 2002. Do not enter the carryback of any unused empowerment zone
employment credit on line 7. Instead, enter this carryback on Form 8844.
If this line is zero, skip Part II.
Part II - General Business Credit Limitation Based on Amount of Tax
Enter the regular tax before credits from the appropriate form or schedule.
- Individuals: Form 1040, line 40.
- Corporations: Form 1120, Schedule J, line 3; Form 1120-A, Part I, line 1; or the applicable line of your tax return.
- Estates and trusts: The sum of the amounts from Form 1041, Schedule G, lines 1a and 1b, or the amount from the applicable line of your tax
Enter the alternative minimum tax (AMT) from the following line of the appropriate form or schedule.
- Individuals: Form 6251, line 28.
- Corporations: Form 4626, line 15.
- Estates and trusts: Form 1041, Schedule I, line 39.
Although you may not owe AMT, you generally must still compute the tentative minimum tax (TMT) to figure your credit. For a small corporation
exempt from the AMT under section 55(e), enter zero. Otherwise, complete and attach the appropriate AMT form or schedule and enter on line
14 the TMT from the following line of that form or schedule.
- Individuals: Form 6251, line 26.
- Corporations: Form 4626, line 13.
- Estates and trusts: Form 1041, Schedule I, line 37.
See section 38(c)(3) for special rules that apply to married couples filing separate returns, controlled corporate groups, regulated investment
companies, real estate investment trusts, and estates and trusts.
If line 18a is smaller than line 8, see Carryback and Carryforward of Unused Credit on page 1.
Individuals, estates, and trusts.
The credit for increasing research activities included on line 18b is limited to the amount of tax attributable to your taxable income from the
sole proprietorship or your interest in the partnership, S corporation, estate, or trust (pass-through entity) generating the credit. Figure the
research credit limitation separately for each business enterprise by using the following formula:
The result figured above is limited to the excess of line 13 over line 16. If in the current tax year you had no taxable income attributable to a
particular business interest, you cannot claim any research credit this year related to that business.
If your research credit is limited by the above formula, refigure the amount to enter on line 18b using only the total of the amount calculated
above for the research credit plus the general business credit from other sources. If necessary, follow the Credit ordering rule on page 1,
and take into account any passive activity credit limitations. Write Sec. 41(g) on the dotted line next to line 18b.
If the corporation has undergone a post-1986 ownership change (as defined in section 382(g)), section 383 may limit the amount of tax that
may be offset by pre-change general business credits. Also, if a corporation acquires control of another corporation (or acquires its assets in a
reorganization), section 384 may limit the amount of tax attributable to recognized built-in gains that may be offset by pre-acquisition general
business credits. If either of these limitations apply, attach a computation of the allowable general business credit, enter the amount on line 18b,
and write Sec. 383 or Sec. 384 in the margin next to your entry on line 18b.
Subtract line 44 of Form 6765 from the amount of the research credit included on Form 3800, line 18b (but do not enter less than zero). To figure
the amount of the research credit included on line 18b, follow the Credit ordering rule on page 1, if necessary, and take into account any
passive activity credit limitations. See the instructions for Form 6765, line 56, for when and how to claim the suspended research credit allowed for
the current year.
A corporation (other than an S corporation) may be entitled to a larger general business credit or additional credit against the AMT if: (a)
it is claiming a regular investment credit carryforward on line 6, (b) some of that investment credit cannot be used because line 18a
is smaller than line 8, and (c) it is required to file Form 4626, Alternative Minimum Tax - Corporations. Complete Schedule
A to see if the corporation is entitled to an additional credit.