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Weekend's tax-free school shopping begins

by EL DORADO NEWS-TIMES | August 7, 2021 at 3:33 a.m.
Walmart associate Amanda Sherrets organizes products in the back-to-school section inside the Supercenter on Mall Avenue in Fayetteville in this July 2012 file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Arkansas' tax-free weekend begins today, lasting until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

The list of items that qualify for the exemption from city, county and state sales and use taxes is extensive and ranges from clothing to cosmetics along with a wide range of school supplies.

Clothing, encompassing everything from kitchen aprons to shoes and laces, must cost under $100 to qualify for the tax exemption.

Clothing accessories, such as wallets or handbags, must cost less than $50 to qualify.

Many cosmetic items will be exempt.

School supplies, however, might serve as the biggest draw for parents.

The list of school supplies exempt from tax is lengthy and contains items in several categories.

Art supplies, such as paint brushes and sketch books, will be exempt, as will instructional material such as workbooks and textbooks.

General school supplies, encompassing everything from pencils and pens to index cards, book bags and binders, will be exempt from state and local use and sales tax.

For the first time, many electronic devices will be eligible for exemption as well.

Act 944, passed in the state Legislature earlier this year, added items including laptops, cellphones and e-readers to the tax-free list.

According to a statement issued by the state Senate, "Arkansas families will save an estimated $2.6 million on purchases of electronic and computer equipment."

Video games, televisions and stereos will not be exempt from sales tax, however.

The Senate statement explains the tax exemptions apply to individual items rather than the total cost of a purchase. This means that with clothing, only individual items must cost under $100 rather than the total resulting from several items. Each clothing item under $100 will have the tax exemption applied.

Online sales of items will qualify for the exemption if the item is shipped to an Arkansas address.

The full list of exempt items can be found at

Print Headline: Weekend's tax-free school shopping begins


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