Arkansas Tax Free Weekend

Arkansas Annual Sales Tax Holiday

Mom and daughter school shopping
Images By Tang Ming Tung / Getty Images

Most years, Arkansas offers consumers a tax-free weekend. Typically, the event is scheduled for early August, so that parents can pick up school supplies, art supplies, clothing, shoes, and other back-to-school shopping items. This is a great time to head to the store, even if you don't have a child in school. That's because a surprising range of items for infants and adults many also be available at a discount.

What Does Tax-Free Mean?

In Arkansas, every shopping venue is tax-free for the designated weekend. This means that neither state nor local sales tax will be collected for 48 hours. This translates to discount of just a 6.5% -- but, of course, any savings is better than none at all. 

What Can You Buy During Tax-Free Weekends?

According to the State of Arkansas website, items included in the sale fall into the following categories: (1) Clothing and footwear if the sales price is less than one hundred dollars ($100) per item; (2) Clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than fifty dollars ($50) per item; (3) School supplies; (4) School art supplies; and (5) School instructional materials.

While this list seems simple, there are some interesting items included and excluded. For example, in 2016, the list of tax-free items included things like diapers, formal wear, and garters -- hardly items you'd expect to see on school children.

On the other hand, the list excluded many craft items that might be used in a school setting, as well as a most sports equipment. Safety items such as shin guards, mouth guards, and football pads, are specifically excluded from the list.

Smart Shopping Strategies for Arkansas' Tax-Free Weekend:

Being a sensible shopper is the best way to save even more during tax-free weekend.

For example, comparing prices at several different stores, which you can do online, and plan on using coupons when you can.

In addition, don't buy anything you don't really need. Since the regular sales tax rate in Arkansas 6.5%, that's the amount of money you'll save by shopping during the sales tax holiday. You might find that you can actually save more money by shopping at competitive sales either before or after the tax-free event, along with using coupons or taking advantage of special promotions.

Keep in mind, too, that some items will still be taxed during Arkansas' sales tax holiday. For example, many sporting goods are not tax exempt in Arkansas, such as ballet shoes, shoulder pads, and cleats. Therefore, make sure that you read Arkansas' list of tax-exempt and taxable items before heading out to the mall.

Additional Tax-Free Shopping Resources: