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The Ultimate Guide To Arkansas Sales Tax

Welcome to our handy guide on Arkansas sales tax. We'll walk you through everything you need to know, from the specific sales tax rates in different counties and cities across Arkansas to answering some of the most common questions. Plus, we'll guide you on how to efficiently collect and file your sales tax in Arkansas.

Sales Tax Rate


Local Rate?



Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration

Sales Threshold


Tax Line

(501) 682-7104

Transactions Threshold


What is Nexus?

The Arkansas sales tax rate is a critical figure for anyone conducting transactions within the state. As part of the broader state of Arkansas sales tax framework, this rate determines the additional cost applied to most consumer goods and services. The tax percentage in Arkansas varies depending on the location, as local jurisdictions can impose additional sales taxes on top of the Arkansas state sales tax. Consequently, Arkansas sales tax rates can differ significantly from one area to another, making it essential for businesses and consumers to stay informed about the applicable rates in their specific locales. You'll need to collect sales tax in Arkansas if you have nexus there. There are two main ways that sellers can be tied to a state when it comes to nexus: physical, or economic.

Did you know logo

Physical nexus means having enough tangible presence, or activity in a state to merit paying sales tax in that state. Economic nexus means passing a states' economic threshold, for total revenue, or the number of transactions in that state.

Physical Nexus

This one's straightforward. If you have a store, office, or warehouse in Arkansas, or employees working there, you've got physical nexus. Even storing inventory or delivering goods in company vehicles can anchor you to this nexus. Your Arkansas footprint includes a shop, an office, or even a temporary pop-up location. Employees in the state? They count too! And if you're storing your products in Arkansas, that's another tick for physical nexus.

Economic Nexus

Money talks! If your sales in Arkansas cross the $100,000 mark, or you have more than 200 transactions in the state within a year, you're in the economic nexus club.

Affiliate Nexus

Think of this as the 'family ties' of sales tax. If you have a partnership with an Arkansas company that helps boost your sales, you might have affiliate nexus. Got a business buddy in Arkansas boosting your sales? That's your cue for affiliate nexus.

Click-Through Nexus

This is the digital handshake of sales tax. If you partner with an Arkansas website that sends customers your way, and your sales exceed $10,000 in a year thanks to these referrals, you've got click-through nexus.

Marketplace Nexus

Selling on platforms like Amazon or Etsy? If these marketplace facilitators exceed $100,000 in Arkansas sales, they’ll handle the sales tax for you. It's like having a helper in your sales tax journey!

Did you know logo

Arkansas adds a tax on tattoos. It’s a little extra pain with your ink.

Sales Tax Registration in Arkansas

Gather Your Info

Before diving in, make sure you've got all your business details handy. This includes your Federal Employer Identification Number (or your Social Security Number if you're flying solo as a sole proprietor), your NAICS code (head to the NAICS website for help), and details about your business structure. Don't forget the personal details for all owners or corporate bigwigs in your business, including Social Security Numbers.

Choose Your Path: Online or Paper

  • Online: Head over to the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP) and click your way through the registration. It's quick, easy, and efficient.

  • Paper Trail: Prefer doing things the old-fashioned way? No problem! Grab Form ET-1 from the Arkansas Department of Revenue website, fill it out, and mail it to the address provided.


It costs $50 to get your Arkansas sales tax license. A small investment for a big step in your business journey!

Wait for Your Permit

Once you've registered, you'll receive your very own Arkansas Sales Permit.

Obtaining an Arkansas sales tax permit is a mandatory step for businesses intending to collect sales tax from their customers. This permit, alongside the Arkansas resale certificate, facilitates legal compliance, allowing businesses to operate within the state's regulatory environment. The Arkansas sales tax login portal provides a streamlined platform for businesses to manage their sales tax filings and payments efficiently, ensuring adherence to Arkansas sales and use tax requirements.

The Essentials for Your Arkansas Sales Tax License Registration:

  • EIN or SSN: Yep, you'll need a Federal Tax ID Number or your Social Security Number.

  • NAICS Code: Know your business category? Get the right NAICS code.

  • Business Structure Details: LLC, sole proprietor, or something else? Have this info ready.

  • Owner's Info: Names, addresses, Social Security Numbers of the big players in your business.

  • Bank Account Info: For that $50 application fee.

  • Business Addresses: Both physical and mailing, if they're different.

More Stops Along the Way

  • Arkansas Secretary of State: Got a formal business structure? Register here.

  • Arkansas Department of Labor: For those with a team, this is your go-to for employee-related matters.

  • Arkansas Department of Workforce Services: Another stop for employers.

  • Arkansas Department of Health: Food or health services? Check in here.

  • Local Agencies: Depending on your business location, local licenses or permits may be needed.

Guide to collecting sales tax in Arkansas

Figure Out What's Taxable

First things first, determine whether your products or services are taxable in Arkansas. Not everything sold is subject to sales tax, so it's smart to check the DFA guidelines to confirm which items fall under taxable territory and which ones are happily tax-free.

Calculate the Correct Rate

Next up, calculate the sales tax rate accurately. Remember, Arkansas is a destination-based sales tax state, so you're looking at the buyer's shipping address to determine the rate. Whether you're tech-savvy using eCommerce software or prefer manual calculations, the Arkansas sales tax lookup tool can be your trusty sidekick in getting those numbers right.

Invoice Inclusion

Add the calculated sales tax to your invoices. Transparency is key – let your customers know exactly how much they're paying in sales tax.

Record-Keeping Is Your Treasure Map

Keep detailed records of all transactions, including those tax-exempt sales. You'll need these if you ever face an audit – think of it as your map to buried treasure.

Get Registered

Before you start collecting any taxes, make sure you've registered for an Arkansas Sales Tax Permit through the DFA. It's like getting your official pirate license to navigate these waters!

Collecting Sales Tax in Arkansas – The Nuts and Bolts:

  • In-Store Sales: If you have a physical store, collect sales tax at the rate of your location via your POS system.

  • Online Sales: For online sales within Arkansas, charge tax based on the recipient's address. If selling to customers in other states, consider the Streamlined Sales Tax program to simplify multi-state tax responsibilities.

Current Arkansas Sales Tax Rates

As of May 2019, the state sales tax rate is 6.5%. However, rates can change and may vary based on what's being sold. Always check the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration site to stay updated.

What's Taxable?

  • Tangible Goods & Certain Services: Think furniture, electronics, and even pet grooming services.

  • Prepared Food & Beverages: Restaurant meals and similar items are usually taxable.

  • Digital Goods: Items like e-books and online movies make the list.

  • Motor Vehicles: Cars, trailers, and aircraft, oh my!

  • Leases and Rentals: Renting out equipment? That's taxable too.

SaaS and Taxation in Arkansas

As of 2018, SaaS is taxed in Arkansas. So, if you're a SaaS provider, you'll need to collect and remit sales tax for your Arkansas customers.

Exemptions to Know

  • Groceries: They're often taxed at a reduced rate but not the full state sales tax rate.

  • Medical Essentials: Prescription drugs and certain medical devices are often tax-free.

  • Nonprofits and Government Purchases: These can be tax-exempt.

  • Qualified Contractors and Food Stamps: Also on the exemption list.

Who's Exempt?

  • Nonprofits, schools, and government organizations

  • Contractors, food stamp transactions, and some service providers

Handling Tax-Exempt Sales

If your customer is exempt from sales tax, collect and keep their Arkansas sales tax exemption certificate. This is your proof to wave in the face of any audits. Lost the certificate? Uh-oh! Avoid a potential fraud charge by not losing it in the first place. If you're partnered with us, we'll keep it safe in our shared Dropbox account.

Did you know logo

Arkansas also levies a tax on car wash services. I guess it’s time for some good old-fashioned elbow grease, a bucket, and a sponge.

Steps for Filing a Arkansas Sales Tax Return

Determine Your Filing Frequency

The Arkansas DFA will set your filing frequency – monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually – based on your annual gross revenue. It's like knowing how often to check your compass on a long voyage.

Gather Your Gear

Before you start, collect all necessary information such as total sales, exempt sales, and sales tax collected. Think of it as gathering your navigational tools before setting sail.

Filling Out Form ET-1

This form is your map for the journey. You can find it on the DFA website. Fill in every field carefully!

Choose Your Route

File your return online via ATAP for speed and convenience, or go old-school with a paper form sent by mail.

Pay What's Due

If you’ve collected over $500 in taxes, pay electronically through ATAP. Otherwise, you can still send a check. Remember, timely payment keeps you in the clear waters of compliance.

Sales Tax Due Dates in Arkansas

  • Monthly Filers: If you collect over $100 per month on average, file and pay each month. Your due date is the 20th of the following month. So, January’s sales tax is due by February 20th.

  • Quarterly Filers: Collecting between $25 and $100 per month? You’re a quarterly filer. Returns are due on the 20th after each quarter ends.

  • Semi-Annual Filers: For those collecting less than $25 monthly, semi-annual filings might be your beat. These due dates vary, so keep an eye on the calendar.

When Dates Fall on Weekends or Holidays

Just like waiting out a storm at sea, if a due date falls on a weekend or holiday, wait it out until the next business day.

How to File Your Return

  • Paper Filing: More your style? Request Form ET-1 at 501-682-7104. But really, why take the longer route when you can...

  • File Electronically: Use ATAP for a quicker voyage. It’s like having a motor instead of rowing your boat.

Avoiding Rocky Shores: Penalties in Arkansas

  • Late Filing: Missed a filing? That’s 5% of the due tax each month, up to 35%.

  • Late Payment: Similar deal – 5% per month, capped at 35%.

Bonuses for Timely Filers

Here’s the treasure – keep 2% of the collected sales tax (up to $1,000 monthly) as a reward for being punctual.

Arkansas Sales Tax Holidays

Mark your calendar for the first weekend of August! Certain items like clothing and school supplies are tax-free. It’s a great time for families to stock up, and for businesses, it’s a busy selling season.

Sales Tax Arkansas: Additional Tips

The sales and use tax Arkansas encompasses a wide range of transactions, including the sale of tangible personal property and certain services. Arkansas sales taxes are not just limited to in-store purchases but also apply to online sales, thereby affecting a broad spectrum of commercial activities. For individuals and businesses wondering "how much is the sales tax in Arkansas" or "how much sales tax in Arkansas", it's crucial to note that the rate you pay might include both state and local taxes, depending on your location within the state.

One particular area of interest is the Arkansas grocery tax, which applies to food items purchased for home consumption. While many states offer exemptions or reduced rates for groceries to ease the financial burden on consumers, understanding the specifics of grocery tax in Arkansas is essential for accurate budgeting and financial planning. For businesses engaged in the resale of goods, utilizing the Arkansas resale certificate allows for the purchase of inventory without paying sales tax at the point of purchase, with the expectation that sales tax will be collected from the end consumer.

The sales tax rate Arkansas and specifically, the state of Arkansas sales tax rate, are set by the state legislature but can be supplemented by local jurisdictions, leading to variability in the state sales tax in Arkansas. Businesses and consumers seeking to understand "what is sales tax in Arkansas" or more specifically, "what is the sales tax in Arkansas", must consider both state and local tax rates for a comprehensive view of their tax obligations. Arkansas stands as a state with a robust and comprehensive tax system, particularly noted for its Arkansas sales tax structure. This tax is pivotal for both businesses and consumers to understand, as it affects the cost of goods and services across the state. Let's delve into the nuances of sales tax in Arkansas and what it means for residents and businesses operating within the state.

Understanding the complexities of Arkansas's sales tax system, from obtaining an Arkansas sales tax permit to understanding the implications of the Arkansas sales and use tax, is a critical task for anyone living or doing business in the state. Staying informed about the Arkansas sales tax rates, including the state sales tax Arkansas and any applicable local rates, is key to ensuring compliance and making informed financial decisions in the Natural State.

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