July 16, 2021
BACK TO SCHOOL: Sales tax holiday can benefit careful shoppers
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- 2021 Arkansas Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 7-8
- Sales tax holiday now includes some electronic devices
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Sales Tax holiday can be a benefit for back-to-schoolers, but buyers need to shop with care, said Laura Hendrix, associate professor and extension personal finance expert for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
This year’s sales tax holiday begins Saturday, August 7, at 12:01 a.m. and continues through Sunday, August 8, at 11:59 p.m. State and local sales taxes will not be collected on the purchase of certain products. All retailers are required to participate
The sales tax holiday covers clothing, footwear, school supplies, art supplies and instructional materials. Hendrix said the 2021 sales tax holiday now includes electronic devices such as computers, printers, tablets, e-readers and cell phones.
“Although it may be tax-free, it’s still not a bargain if it’s not something you will use,” Hendrix said. “Continue to use smart shopping strategies during the sales tax holiday.”
There are restrictions on these purchases. Clothing must be less than $100 per item, but there is no limit on the number of items.
While most clothing is covered, items such as patterns, fabric, and sewing notions are not included. The list of qualified clothing is extensive, covering almost everything from diapers to wedding apparel. Shoes, undergarments, belts, and outerwear are included. There is not a cost limit for electronic devices.
See this year’s list of items and restrictions at https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/exciseTaxOffice/HolidayItemized.pdf
Before you go
Before heading out for back-to-school shopping, Hendrix recommends:
- Take inventory of what you need or want to purchase.
- Examine your budget and determine how much tol spend.
- Have a plan for how you will pay. “Credit card fees and interest can offset any savings you might have from not paying sales tax,” Hendrix said. “If using credit cards, have a plan to pay them off as soon as possible.”
- Make a shopping list.
- Set a spending limit.
Find practical financial information at the uaexMoney blog; https://www.uaex.edu/life-skills-wellness/personal-finance/uaex-money-blog/.
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Chief Communications Officer
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture