Close this search box.

Table of Contents

General Business Tax Credit


The General Business Tax Credit is a collection of tax credits available to businesses in the United States to encourage specific investments and practices. These tax credits, designed to stimulate economic activity and growth, can be used to reduce a company’s federal income tax liability. Examples of tax credits found under the General Business Tax Credit include the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and Work Opportunity Tax Credit.


The phonetic spelling of “General Business Tax Credit” is:/ˈdʒɛnərəl/ /ˈbɪznəs/ /tæks/ /ˈkrɛdɪt/.General: JEH-nuh-ruhlBusiness: BIZ-nessTax: taksCredit: KRED-it

Key Takeaways

  1. The General Business Tax Credit is designed to help businesses reduce their tax liability by offering various subsidies and incentives for certain business activities.
  2. These credits cover a wide range of business activities, including research and development, investment in disadvantaged communities, hiring targeted employees, and investing in energy-efficient property.
  3. By utilizing General Business Tax Credits, businesses can lower their overall tax burden while engaging in beneficial activities that promote economic growth, innovation, and employment opportunities.


The General Business Tax Credit is important because it plays a crucial role in fostering business growth, improving cash flow, and encouraging investments in innovative and economically beneficial activities. It comprises a collection of several tax credits that businesses can claim to reduce their tax liability. Offering tax relief to businesses through these credits allows them to reinvest the saved funds back into their operations, hire more employees, or expand research and development. Overall, the General Business Tax Credit serves as a strategic incentive for businesses to contribute to the broader economic prosperity and development.


The General Business Tax Credit serves a vital purpose in promoting various economic activities and encouraging businesses to undertake specific practices that contribute positively to the economy and society. This tax relief allows businesses to reduce their tax liability and any corresponding financial burden, thereby freeing up resources for investment and growth. By offering businesses financial incentives in the form of tax credits, governments aim to foster a sustainable business environment, which ultimately results in job creation, ecological preservation, and technological advancements.

One prime example of the General Business Tax Credit is its utilization in spurring research and development initiatives. By offering tax credits to companies that invest in R&D, governments promote a culture of innovation and technological advancements. Similarly, tax credits aimed at businesses that invest in eco-friendly practices encourage environmentally conscious decisions and help combat climate change. In this way, the General Business Tax Credit plays a crucial role in shaping a responsible, innovative, and sustainable business landscape while balancing its primary objective of reducing tax liabilities.


The General Business Tax Credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit, refers to a series of federal income tax credits available to businesses for specific activities. Here are three real-world examples:

1. Research and Development Tax Credit: This general business tax credit is provided to motivate companies to invest in research and development activities for improving their products or processes. The eligibility criteria include conducting research to create new or improve existing products, processes, or software, with the goal of reducing technical uncertainty. This credit is designed to help companies offset some of the costs associated with R&D investments.

2. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: This credit is designed to encourage developers and investors to build and maintain affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is available to developers who commit to renting a specific percentage of their units to qualified low-income tenants. This credit helps to stimulate investments in low-income neighborhoods and promote community revitalization.

3. Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This general business tax credit is designed to incentivize employers to hire individuals from specific target groups facing barriers to employment, such as veterans, individuals with disabilities, ex-felons, or individuals receiving government assistance. By hiring eligible employees, businesses can benefit from tax credits that range from $2,400 to $9,600 per qualifying employee, based on the target group and the number of hours the employee works, thus reducing their overall tax liability.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the General Business Tax Credit?

The General Business Tax Credit is a collection of non-refundable tax credits offered to businesses that engage in qualifying activities such as research and development, employment, and green energy initiatives. These tax credits help to offset the tax liability of a company, incentivizing businesses to perform specific actions that support various policy objectives.

How does the General Business Tax Credit work?

To claim the General Business Tax Credit, businesses must engage in qualifying activities, such as increasing research and development efforts, creating jobs, or implementing green energy practices. The credit is then applied to the business’s tax liability, reducing the amount of taxes owed. In some cases, if the credit amount exceeds the tax liability, the excess may be carried forward or back to offset taxes in other years.

What are some examples of tax credits included in the General Business Tax Credit?

Some common tax credits that fall under the General Business Tax Credit include the Research and Development Tax Credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, New Markets Tax Credit, and Energy Investment Tax Credit. These credits are designed to encourage specific types of activities among businesses, such as innovation, job creation, investments in low-income communities, and green energy adoption.

Who is eligible for the General Business Tax Credit?

Businesses of all sizes operating in various industries can potentially qualify for one or more of the credits that comprise the General Business Tax Credit. Eligibility depends on engaging in specific qualifying activities, depending on the specific tax credit being pursued.

Can multiple tax credits within the General Business Tax Credit be claimed simultaneously?

Yes, businesses can claim multiple tax credits within the General Business Tax Credit if they engage in multiple qualifying activities. However, there may be limitations on the total amount of credit that can be claimed, depending on certain conditions and the specific tax credits being utilized.

How can a business apply for the General Business Tax Credit?

To apply for the General Business Tax Credit, businesses must first determine if they engage in qualifying activities for one or more of the tax credits that fall under the General Business Tax Credit. Once identified, they must maintain appropriate documentation of those activities and complete the necessary forms required by the IRS. The tax credits are then claimed when filing the business’s federal tax returns.

Can the General Business Tax Credit be carried forward or back?

While non-refundable, some tax credits within the General Business Tax Credit allow businesses to carry forward or back their unused credits. This means that if a credit cannot be used to offset tax liability in the current tax year due to a lack of sufficient tax liability, it can be rolled over to future or past tax years, depending on the specific credit’s rules and limitations.

Can the General Business Tax Credit be transferred or sold to another business?

Generally, tax credits under the General Business Tax Credit cannot be transferred or sold to another business. However, there are some exceptions, such as the New Markets Tax Credit, which can be allocated to investors in a qualified community development entity.

Related Finance Terms

  • Investment Tax Credit
  • Research and Development Credit
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Renewable Energy Tax Credits
  • New Markets Tax Credit

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More