Arkansas Tax Holiday 2016

What you need to know

Save some money on back to school.
••• Save some money on back to school. WIN-Initiative / Getty Images

Arkansas will host its fourth sales tax holiday the weekend of August 6 and 7. Retail stores will not charge sales taxes on purchases of school supplies and some clothing. That means shoppers will pay the sticker price for clothing, accessories and school supplies. It's time to get ready for back to school.

When does it start:

The tax free holiday starts 12:01 the first Saturday in August (6) and ends 11:59 the following Sunday (7).

What Items are Sales Tax Free:

Sales tax will be not be charged on clothing and footwear if the sale price is less than $100 per item, clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item and all school supplies, art supplies and instructional material. Accessories include cosmetics, hair accessories, handbags, jewelry, sun glasses, wallets, watches, etc. Art supplies are limited to clay and glazes, paints, paintbrushes, sketch and drawing pads and watercolors. Instructional material includes textbooks, workbooks and references.

Clothing includes all clothing: footwear, diapers, receiving blankets, wedding apparel, gloves, aprons, hats, neckties, coats and jackets, wedding apparel and formal wear if the marked price is under $100. It's listed as, "all human wearing apparel," which means it will benefit more than just the back to school crowd.

Computers, software and peripherals are not tax exempt.

What about coupons?

A store can reduce the price of an item (ie: a sale that offers 20% off a $100 pair of jeans bringing it below the $100 per item maximum) and you'll still get the tax exemption. However, a manufacturers coupon (ie: a coupon for $20 off a pair of $110 jeans) does not lower the actual sale price and therefore the item would still be subject to sales tax.

Is there a limit?

No, there is not a limit on total items you can buy. The only limit is the price per item limit listed above. You can buy as many $99 shirts as you would like and still be exempt. Likewise, you can purchase all your school supplies and back to school clothes together. No matter what the total cost, your items will still be exempt if they meet the criteria listed above.

If one item does not meet the criteria (a $101 purse, for example), your other items will still be exempt. You will only be charged sales tax on that particular item.

For non-exempt items, is sales tax charged on the whole amount or just the amount over?

If you purchase a non-exempt item, sales tax is charged on the entire amount. For example, all clothing over $100 is non-exempt. If you buy a $300 suit, you will be charged sales tax on the entire $300, not just the amount over $100.

When is Tennessee's Tax Exempt Day and What are Their Policies?

When I was young, Tennessee (specifically Memphis) was the place to go for tax exempt purchases.  Some people still travel there today.  The state of Tennessee's annual sales tax holiday is held every year, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the last Friday in July and ending at 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night.

During this weekend, certain goods may be purchased tax free. This year's tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 29 and ends Sunday, July 31 at 11:59 p.m.

The biggest difference between Memphis' tax exempt weekend and ours is that computers and tablets up to $1500 are also exempt.  Peripheral devices are not exempt.  That could be quite a chunk of change if you're looking for a computer.  TN also exempts school supplies and clothing that are $100 or less.  If you're not familiar with Memphis, they have quite a few malls to shop at.

When is Texas' Sales Tax Holiday?

Texas is also a popular shopping destination, especially for those in Texarkana.  In 2016, Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes on Aug. 5 - 7.  The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales and use taxes.

Texas does not exempt computers.