The Ultimate Guide to Completing Form 3800

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As a small business proprietor, you recognize the significance of leveraging all of the tax credits at your disposal. That’s why you must understand and use IRS Form 3800.

This form can help you save on taxes by claiming eligible credits and carryovers from one year to past or future years. This blog will provide a step-by-step guide to completing your Form 3800 accurately and calculating and consolidating your tax credits.

We’ll also discuss where and how to submit your form when completed. By reading this blog, small businesses can be confident that they are making the most out of their tax situation and can maximize their profits.


What is Form 3800?

Form 3800 is a form issued by the Internal Revenue Service that can help small businesses to reduce their tax liability.

Utilize your resources by tapping into eligible credits, such as general business credits, energy credits, and carryovers from previous years. By taking advantage of this, you can experience a substantial financial benefit when filing taxes.

Businesses must accurately list all eligible credits they have acquired on Form 3800 and calculate any applicable taxes related to these credits to ensure they are making the most out of their tax situation.

Failure to provide complete or accurate information on this form can result in significant penalties from the IRS.

So businesses must understand how to correctly fill out this form before filing it with the government.

Who is Required to Complete Form 3800?

Eligible taxpayers for general business credits, energy credits, or carryovers from prior years must file Form 3800.

You need to know their eligibility requirements and understand how to accurately complete Form 3800 to maximize your savings when filing taxes.

Understanding General Business Credit

Credits are tax deductions that reduce the amount of taxes owed. Generally, credits reduce your tax liability dollar-for-dollar, meaning if you have a $1000 credit, you can subtract that from the taxes you owe.

In some cases, credits can exceed the amount of taxes owed, resulting in a refund. Credits may be available for various activities, such as education expenses or retirement savings contributions.

General business credit is a combination of multiple credits available for eligible expenses, such as employee wages or research and development costs.

Small businesses must understand and take advantage of general business credits to maximize yearly savings.


What Are Business Tax Credits Included in the General Business Credit?

Businesses may be eligible for some tax credits when filing their taxes using Form 3800, part of the General Business Credit.

These credits help offset the cost of taxes and make it easier for businesses to remain profitable. Form 3800 outlines several tax credits that companies are eligible to receive:

  • Investment Credit (Form 3468)
  • Work Opportunity Credit (Form 5884)
  • Alcohol and Cellulosic Biofuel Fuels Credit (Form 6478)
  • Credit for Increasing Research Activities (Form 6765)
  • Low-Income Housing Credit (Form 8586)
  • Orphan Drug Credit (Form 8820)
  • Disabled Access Credit (Form 8826)
  • Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit (Form 8834)
  • Renewable Electricity Refined Coal and Indian Coal Production Credit (Form 8835)
  • Form 8844 – Empowerment Zone Employment Credit(CarryforwardOnly)
  • Indian Employment Credit (Form 8845)
  • Credit for Employer Social Security and Medicare Taxes (Form 8846)
  • Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit (Form 8864)
  • New Markets Credit (Form 8874)
  • Credit for Small Employer Pension Plan Startup Costs (Form 8881)
  • Credit for Employer-Provided Childcare Facilities and Services (Form 8882)
  • Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Production Credit (Form 8896)
  • Qualified Railroad Track Maintenance Credit (Form 8900)
  • Distilled Spirits Credit (Form 8906)
  • Energy Efficient Home Credit (Form 8908)
  • Alternative Motor Vehicle Credits (Form 8910)
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit (Form 8911)
  • Mine Rescue Team Training Credit (Form 8923)

Step-by-Step Guide to Completing Form 3800 for Small Businesses

Completing form 3800 can seem overwhelming, but with this step-by-step guide, you can complete the form in no time. Make sure to take your time and complete all three sections of the form with precision, as IRS will accept only a fully finished version.


Step 1 – Form 3800 Part III

First, select the category for each type of credit you want to claim, check the correct box, and complete a separate part III for each type of credit, carryback or carryforward.

If you have more than one Part III with box A or B checked, consolidate the amounts from all Part III, and remember to check off the box I.


Suppose you’re claiming credits from multiple sources, and at least one of them is a pass-through entity (like sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, or S corporations). In that case, you’ll need to assign a separate Part III for each entity from which you received credit.

Remember to enter the employer ID number (EIN) in column (b) and the amount in column (c).

Step 2 – Form 3800 Part I and II

In Part I of Form 3800, you must enter information about passive activities and any tax carryovers from previous years that you want to consider. This will help determine if your tax credits may be limited.

Additionally, you must attach a required statement with information about tax credits and carryovers to this section.

Part II of Form 3800 computes your total allowable credit for the year based on the data provided in Part I. Here, it would help if you had to enter precise calculations for your taxable burden (before credits), alternative minimum tax estimation, and any foreign tax credits. Remember to include all the necessary details!

Make sure to include the number from line 38 of your return in your filing — it’s the total amount of credit you can claim for the year.


Common Mistakes to Avoid when Completing Form 3800

Like any other tax form, when filling out Form 3800, it is essential to double-check all information and calculations to avoid costly mistakes.

Before submitting your form, you must double-check everything for accuracy and correctness.

Not including sufficient information on passive activities and carryovers from previous years in Part I

Please do this to avoid an inaccurate assessment of your taxable liability and alternative minimum tax calculation. It is also possible that you may not be able to take advantage of any foreign tax credits available due to insufficient information.

Ensure that your form is filled out accurately by including all passive activities and transferring the information in Part I.

Entering incorrect numbers or calculations for your taxable liability, alternative minimum tax calculation, or foreign tax credits in Part II

Entering incorrect information can lead to inaccurate assessments of your taxable liability, alternative minimum tax calculation, and foreign tax credits due when filing your form. Double-check all entries to make sure that everything is correct before submitting.

Failing to do this could result in overpaying or underpaying taxes and penalties from the IRS or other government entities.

Not attaching the required statement with relevant information

Without the required statement accompanying your form, you may be in danger of receiving an inaccurate calculation of your taxable liability, alternative minimum tax calculation, and foreign tax credits.

Before submitting your form, attach and review any necessary statement to guarantee its correctness. Doing this will help you avoid costly fees or penalties down the road.

Forgetting to include your total from line 38 on your return

Forgetting to include your total from line 38 on your tax return can have profound implications. This information is necessary for the IRS to accurately assess your taxable liability, alternative minimum tax calculation, and foreign tax credits owed when filing your form.

To avoid costly penalties and fees due to missteps, thoroughly scrutinize all entries before submitting your documents. Remember to include your total from line 38 as well.


Filing Form 3800 can be tedious and complicated, but it is essential for accurate tax filing. Double-checking all entries to avoid common mistakes can ensure accuracy and save you time and money.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of Form 3800? Don’t let the daunting payroll tax filing leave you feeling helpless. Subscribe to our blog, and we’ll provide step-by-step guidance on correctly completing this form and information on common mistakes people make when filling it out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there different versions of Form 3800 for different kinds of businesses?

For a specific tax year, there’s only one form 3800. If you have any of the general business credits, you must file form 3800.

Part III of Form 3800 lists the general business credits and the forms you can claim.

Do I need to submit additional documents along with Form 3800?

Yes, if you want to claim eligible General Business Credits, you’ll have to file a specific tax form for that credit and then transfer the number to its appropriate box in part III.

Which credits are not reported on Form 3800?

Only tax credits for business activities listed by the IRS can be claimed and reported on form 3800. For any other credits, use their appropriate tax forms.

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