How General Business Credits Work

Business credits can help both large and small businesses.
Business credits can help both large and small businesses.
© Peathegee Inc/Blend Images/Corbis

Business owners have so many balls up in the air that the tax process is infinitely more complex and stressful for them than it is for most other people (unless, like Taylor Swift, you're the sort of individual who's practically a corporation). Fortunately, the government recognizes the challenges that entrepreneurs face every day, and have responded in kind over the years with a variety of lucrative credits. These businesses provide much-appreciated jobs, products and services, so it's only fair that they enjoy a bit of monetary relief, right?

Dollar for dollar tax credits have become increasingly popular over the years, and are typically preferable to deductions, which simply lower taxable income. The benefits of accurately claiming general business credits are significant. "Credits reduce the amount of business taxes owed to the federal or state government," says Marilyn M. Niwao, president of the National Society of Accountants. "For a business, less tax paid means more money will be available to the business owner to reinvest in and grow the business."

General business credits were created by the U.S. Congress to boost the economy and address specific social concerns, like helping disadvantaged communities. These nonrefundable cash cows are available to businesses and people who meet all of the necessary requirements [source: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy]. Keep reading to learn more about the credits out there and how to go about claiming them to the best of your business ability!