As many Arkansas families are gearing up to head back to school, we want to remind you to take advantage of a tax break provided by the legislature.

The first weekend of August is a sales tax holiday. This means state and local taxes are not collected or paid on the purchase of certain items typically needed for the classroom.

Currently the state sales tax is 6.5%. City, county, and local taxes vary across the state.

In addition to the percentage that you will not be paying in sales tax, many retailers also host special deals and discounts to coincide with the tax-free days.

Clothing and shoes less than $100 per item are exempt from sales tax on those days. This even includes jackets, coats, and athletic uniforms.

Clothing accessories and equipment such as briefcases, handbags, and umbrellas are exempt from tax if the sales price is less than $50 per item. And most all school supplies including crayons, glue, notebooks, and scissors are tax-free as well.

You can find a complete list of exempt items on our website

The sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01am on August 3rd and conclude at 11:59pm on August 4th.

It is estimated this year the average parent will spend over $250 for back to school clothes and an additional $100 just for supplies.

The 88th General Assembly passed Act 757 as a way to help offset the cost for Arkansas families. Sponsors of the bill noted at the time that neighboring states already had a sales tax holiday in place. Eighteen states now offer some kind of sales tax holiday. Arkansas legislators passed the bill in 2011 in hopes of encouraging Arkansans to do their shopping at home. So we hope you can take advantage of the tax break and any additional sales that may come with it.

For more information you can call a customer service representative at the Department of Finance and Administration during business hours at (501) 682-7104.