Arkansas’ third annual sales tax holiday is August 3 and August 4. Between 12:01 a.m. on August 3 and 11:59 p.m. on August 4, retail stores will not charge sales taxes on purchases of school supplies, clothing and footwear costing less than $100. 

Clothing and footwear that cost less than $100 per item will qualify for the exemption. Local and state sales taxes will apply to individual items that costs more than $100. For example, if a person buys two shirts for $50 each, a pair of jeans for $75 and a pair of shoes for $125, the sales tax will only be collected on the shoes.

Accessories costing less than $50 qualify for the exemption. Examples include wallets, watches, jewelry, sun glasses, handbags, cosmetics, briefcases, hair notions, wigs and hair pieces.

School supplies also qualify, including binders, book bags, calculators, tape, paper, pencils, scissors, notebooks, folders and glue.

Textbooks, reference books, maps, globes, workbooks and art supplies needed for art class, such as clay and glazes, paint, brushes and drawing pads will also be exempt.

Bathing suits and beach wear will be exempt as long as they cost less than $100 per item. Diapers and disposable diapers will not be taxed. Boots, including steel-toed boots, slippers, sneakers and sandals will be exempt from the sales tax as well.

Sporting goods, such as cleats and spikes worn by baseball, soccer and football players, are not exempt. Recreational items such as skates, shoulder pads, shin guards and ski boots will be taxed. Computers, software and computer equipment are not exempt and you will have to pay sales taxes if you purchase those items on the holiday.

The legislature created the sales tax holiday by approving Act 757 of 2011. The intent was to help families with children in school, and was popularly called the “Back to School” sales tax holiday when it was being discussed at the Capitol. Everyone benefits from the holiday though, whether or not they have children of school age.

Act 757 provides that the sales tax holiday will be the first weekend of August every year. All retail stores are required to participate and may not legally collect any state or local sales taxes on qualified items during the tax holiday.