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Tax free weekend begins at midnight

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online
MOUNT IDA – While many things are uncertain in the time of COVID-19, one thing that remains the same is kids will need new clothes and supplies as they prepare to return to school this fall. Buying those items will be a little lighter on the pocketbook this weekend thanks to the Arkansas Tax Free Weekend.
Beginning Saturday morning, August 1, at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight Sunday, August 2, many school related items can be purchased without state, county and local sales and use tax. Items exempt from taxes include most clothing items and accessories and school items.
There are limits on the tax exemption with all clothing and footwear under $100 exempt. Items over $100 will still be subject to taxation. Accessories have a $50 limit. The limitation is per item, not the total of all items purchased. Some accessories covered under the tax exemption include wallets, watches, jewelry, sunglasses, handbags, cosmetics, briefcases, hair notions, wigs and hair pieces.
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 the sales tax will be art supplies needed for art class, such as clay and glazes, paint, brushes and drawing pads.
Bathing suits and beach wear 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 you will have to pay sales taxes if you purchase those items on the holiday.
Act 757 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.
The legislature created the sales tax holiday by approving Act 757 of 2011.  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. 
All businesses in Arkansas are required to participate in the tax free holiday.

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