The 2016 Arkansas State Sales Tax
What is the 2016 Arkansas Sales Tax Rate?
The Arkansas state sales tax rate is 6.5%, and the average AR sales tax after local surtaxes is 9.26%.
- Prescription Drugs are exempt from the Arkansas sales tax
- Counties and cities can charge an additional local sales tax of up to 5.5%, for a maximum possible combined sales tax of 12%
- Arkansas has 644 special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
- Arkansas has a lower state sales tax than 96.2% of states
Counties and cities in Arkansas are allowed to charge an additional local sales tax on top of the Arkansas state sales tax. The state capitol, Little Rock, charges a city sales tax of 0.5%.
The sales tax on groceries has been reduced statewide several times since 2007, and was last cut from 2% to 1.5% in July of 2011. Arkansas recently raised the state sales tax from 6% to 6.5%.
If you are a Arkansas business owner, you can learn more about how to collect and file your Arkansas sales tax return at the 2016 Arkansas Sales Tax Handbook .
Arkansas Sales Tax Exemptions
Arkansas doesn't collect sales tax on purchases of most prescription drugs. Groceries is subject to special sales tax rates under Arkansas law. In most states, necessities such as groceries, clothes, and drugs are exempted from the sales tax or charged at a lower sales tax rate.
Some items may not be eligible for these reduced sales tax rates, such as expensive clothing, unhealthy food or drinks like soda, and certain non-essential pharmaceuticals. Unlike many states, Arkansas treats both candy and soda as groceries for sales tax purposes. Other items including gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes are subject to various Arkansas excise taxes in addition to the sales tax.
Arkansas has one sales tax holidays, during which certain items can be purchased sales-tax free. For more details, see the Arkansas sales tax holiday calendar.
In some states, items like alcohol and prepared food (including restaurant meals and some premade supermarket items) are charged at a higher sales tax rate. The AR sales tax applicable to the sale of cars, boats, and real estate sales may also vary by jurisdiction. Arkansas's sales tax rates for commonly exempted items are as follows:
$100 Restaurant Dinner
$100 of groceries
$100 in clothes
$100 of consumer products
$6.50 sales tax
$1.50 sales tax
$6.50 sales tax
$6.50 sales tax
Arkansas Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
Unlike a Value Added Tax (VAT), the Arkansas sales tax only applies to end consumers of the product. Individuals and companies who are purchasing goods for resale, improvement, or as raw materials can use a Arkansas Sales Tax Exemption Form to buy these goods tax-free.
Companies or individuals who wish to make a qualifying purchase tax-free must have a Arkansas state sales tax exemption certificate, which can be obtained from the Arkansas Department of Revenue Website . On making an exempt purchase, Exemption Certificate holders may submit a completed Arkansas Sales Tax Exemption Form to the vendor instead of paying sales tax.
Sales tax exemption forms (as well as business sales tax id applications, sales tax returns, and the full Arkansas sales tax code) can be downloaded from the Arkansas Department of Revenue Website here .
Arkansas Sales Tax Calculator
Whenever you make a purchase at a licensed Arkansas retailer, your sales tax will be automatically calculated and added to your bill. To lookup the sales tax due on any purchase, use our Arkansas sales tax calculator.
Arkansas Use Tax
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If you buy goods and are not charged the Arkansas Sales Tax by the retailer, such as with online and out-of-state purchases, you are supposed to pay the 6.5% sales tax (less any foreign sales tax paid) for these items yourself as the Arkansas Use Tax.
Your are expected to voluntarily list your liable purchases on a Arkansas Use Tax Return, which should be attached with payment to your Arkansas Income Tax Return. Historically, compliance rates with with the Arkansas Use Tax have been low.
Arkansas Local Sales Taxes
Arkansas does not allow local jurisdictions like cities or counties to collect a local sales tax. The Arkansas state sales tax of 6.5% is applicable statewide. You can view the sales tax rates for various cities in Arkansas here.
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