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Sales tax holiday set for weekend

While black Friday tends to be the most popular day for Christmas shopping, store check out lines will see a similar shopping madness trend this weekend as parents and children prepare to swamp stores in search of back-to-school supplies and clothing. Arkansas’ third sales tax-free holiday weekend will kick off Saturday at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and end at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

During the 48-hour period, retail stores will not charge local or state sales tax on exempt school supplies, clothing and accessories. This means customers will pay sticker price without the extra sales tax fees on exempt items.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website, all retailers are required to participate and may not charge tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday.

Items which are tax exempt included clothing and footwear less that $100, clothing accessories and equipment less than $50, school supplies, art supplies and instructional materials.

The sales tax free holiday was introduced during legislative session in 2011 by Rep. Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado. Although Gov. Mike Beebe was opposed to the holiday, Shepherd continued to push it until it was made into a law.

For more information about the sales tax holiday, visit the website at www.dfa.arkansas.gov or contact customer service Monday through Friday at (501) 682-7104 from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Tax-Free Items

Clothing, includes all human-wearing apparel suitable for general use:

• Formal wear

• Garters and garter belts

• Girdles

• Gloves and mittens for general use

• Aprons, household and shop

• Athletic supporters

• Baby receiving blankets

• Bathing suits and caps

• Rubber pants

• Sandals

• Scarves

• Shoes and shoe laces

• Slippers

• Wedding apparel

• Coats and jackets

• Costumes

• Diapers, including disposables

• Earmuffs

• Sneakers

• Socks and stockings

• Steel toed shoes

• Underwear

• Uniforms, athletic and non-athletic

• Hats and caps

• Belts and suspenders

• Boots

• Hosiery

• Insoles for shoes

• Lab coats

• Neckties

• Overshoes

• Pantyhose

• Beach capes and coats

• Footlets

• Rainwear

Clothing accessories or equipment, incidental items worn on the person or in conjunction with clothing:

• Umbrellas

• Wallets

• Watches

• Wigs and hair pieces hair bows, and hair nets

• Briefcases

• Cosmetics

• Hair notions, including barrettes,

• Handbags

• Handkerchiefs

• Jewelry

• Sun glasses, non-prescription

School supplies: An item commonly used by a student in a course of study.

• Pencils

• Pens

• Protractors

• Erasers

• Folders - expandable, pocket, plastic and manila

• Pencil sharpeners

• Cellophane tape

• Blackboard chalk

• Compasses

• Composition books

• Crayons

• Legal pads

• Lunch boxes

• Markers

• Notebooks

• Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes

• Rulers

• Scissors

• Writing tablets

• Glue, paste, and paste sticks

• Highlighters

• Index cards

• Index card boxes

• Binders

• Book bags

• Calculators

• Paper - loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper.

School art supply: An item commonly used by a student in a course of study for artwork.

• Clay and glazes

• Paints - acrylic, tempora and oil

• Paintbrushes for artwork

• Sketch and drawing pads

• Watercolors

School instructional material, written material commonly used by a student in a course of study as reference and to learn the subject being taught:

• Reference books

• Reference maps and globes

• Textbooks

• Workbooks

Sewing, protective, sports or recreational supplies and equipment are taxable.

Sewing equipment and supplies:

• Knitting needles

• Patterns

• Yarn

• Zippers

• Thimbles

• Buttons

• Fabric

• Lace

• Thread

• Pins

• Scissors

• Sewing machines

• Sewing needles

• Tape measures

Protective equipment:

• Breathing masks

• Clean room apparel and equipment

• Ear and hearing protectors

• Face shields

• Hard hats

• Helmets

• Paint or dust respirators

• Protective gloves

• Safety glasses and goggles

• Safety belts

• Tool belts

• Welder’s gloves and masks

Sport or recreational equipment:

• Waders

• Wetsuits and fins

• Mouth guards

• Roller and ice skates

• Shin guards

• Shoulder pads

• Ski boots

• Gloves - baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey and golf

• Goggles

• Hand and elbow guards

• Life preservers and Vests

• Ballet and Tap shoes

• Cleated or spiked athletic shoes

Other taxable items are:

• Belt buckles sold separately

• Costume masks sold separately

• Patches and emblems sold separately

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