Friday, July 28, 2017

TOP STORY >> Shop tax free next week

Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday next weekend.

Clothing, footwear and school supplies that cost less than $100 each will qualify for the tax exemption next Saturday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, Aug. 6.

State Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) reminds the public to take advantage of the event for back-to-school clothes and supplies.

“If you buy an item that costs more than $100 you must pay the state and local sales taxes on the entire amount. Accessories costing less than $50 qualify for the exemption. Examples include wallets, watches, jewelry, sunglasses, handbags, cosmetics, briefcases, hair notions, wigs and hairpieces,” according to Williams’ announcement from the Senate Information Office.

The Department of Finance and Administration provided this example: Someone who 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. Even though the total price of the shirts and the jeans added up to $175, no sales tax will be collected on them because each individual item cost less than $100.

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

Textbooks, reference books, maps, globes and workbooks will be exempt from sales taxes. Also exempt from sales tax is art supplies needed for art class, such as clay and glazes, paint, brushes and drawing pads.

Bathing suits and beachwear 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.

Not exempt from the sales tax are sporting goods, such as cleats and spikes worn by baseball, soccer and football players. Recreational items such as skates, shoulder pads, shin guards and ski boots will be taxed.

Computers, software and computer equipment are not exempt, and shoppers will have to pay sales taxes if they purchase those items.

Act 757, passed by the legislature in 2011, 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.

“One of the goals of the act is to help families with children in school, which is why it is commonly known as the back-to-school sales tax holiday, but everyone benefits from the holiday, whether or not they have children in school,” according to the announcement.