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Sales tax holiday can benefit careful shoppers

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Fast facts:

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.”
What’s included
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.

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