State of Arkansas Flag

Arkansas Sales Tax Guide for Businesses

Sales Tax Rate
6.5%
Local Taxes
Yes
Website
Department of Finance and Administration
Tax Line
501-682-7104

We wrote this guide for online sellers who want to know if they even have to bother with sales tax in Arkansas, and if so, how best to tackle the sales tax situation in the Natural State.

After reading this, you’ll know:

  • Do you or don’t you need to collect Arkansas sales tax?
  • Which customers do you collect from?
  • How much do you collect?
  • What do you do with all the sales tax you’ve collected?
  • Way more than you probably ever wanted to know about Arkansas sales tax!

Do you have sales tax nexus in Arkansas?

Good news! You only have to begin thinking about Arkansas sales tax if you have sales tax nexus in Arkansas.

“Sales tax nexus” is just a fancy way of saying “significant presence” in a state.

Arkansas considers a seller to have sales tax nexus in the state if you have any of the following in the state:

  • An office or place of business (owned or leased)
  • A warehouse or agency in Arkansas (owned or leased)
  • Real or personal property

You can click here to read exactly what the Arkansas Department of Revenue (Arkansas’s taxing authority) has to say about what constitutes sales tax nexus in Arkansas on page 1 under “Doing Business As.”

Is what you’re selling even taxable?

You’ve probably read this far because you realized you have sales tax nexus in Arkansas. Your next step is to determine if what you’re selling is even taxable.

Services in Arkansas are generally not taxable. So if you’re a freelance private investigator or a mechanic, you’re in luck and you don’t have to worry about sales tax. But watch out – if the service you provide includes selling, creating or manufacturing a product, you may have to deal with the sales tax on products.

Tangible products are taxable in Arkansas , with a few exceptions. These exceptions include certain items used in agriculture and constructions, among other things. You can find a list of Arkansas’s non-taxable items in this guide starting on page g.

So if you sell outdoor equipment, then charge sales tax to your Arkansas customers.

But if you’re a private investigator, don’t charge sales tax to your Arkansas customers.

If you have sales tax nexus in Arkansas and your products are taxable, your next step is to register for a sales tax permit.

How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in Arkansas

Sellers with sales tax nexus in Arkansas must apply for an Arkansas sales tax permit.

Don’t skip this step! Many states consider it unlawful to collect sales tax in their name without a permit. Go here for more on how to register for a sales tax permit in Arkansas.

How to Collect Sales Tax in Arkansas

So you’ve determined that you have sales tax nexus in Arkansas and what you’re selling is taxable. And you’re all set and registered for your Arkansas sales tax permit.

The next step is to determine how much sales tax to collect.

Arkansas is a destination-based sales tax state. So no matter if you live and run your business in Arkansas or live outside Arkansas but have nexus there, you would charge sales tax at the rate of your buyer’s ship-to location.

Example: You live and run your business in Ft. Smith, AR where the sales tax rate is 9.75%. But you ship a product to a customer in Batesville, AR. The sales tax rate in Batesville, AR is made up of the 6.5% Arkansas sales tax rate, the 1.75% Independence County rate, and the 2% Batesville city rate, for a total of 10.25%. Since Arkansas is a destination-based sales tax state, you would charge the 10.25% Batesville sales tax rate to your customer.

And if you live outside of Arkansas but have sales tax nexus in Arkansas, you would also charge sales tax at the local sales tax rate of the buyer’s ship-to address.

You can look up your local sales tax rate by going to TaxJar.com/mobile on your mobile device or look up any sales tax rate by zip code by going to with TaxJar’s Sales Tax Calculator.

Should you collect sales tax on shipping charges in Arkansas?

Arkansas considers shipping charges that you charge the customer to be part of the taxable sale, and therefore if the item you are selling is taxable then the shipping charges are also taxable.

Read a full explanation of sales tax on shipping in Arkansas here.

Rank City Population County Total
1 Little Rock 193,524 Pulaski 9.00%
2 Fort Smith 86,209 Sebastian 9.75%
3 Fayetteville 76,899 Washington 9.75%
4 Springdale 69,797 Washington 9.75%
5 Jonesboro 67,263 Craighead 8.50%
6 North Little Rock 62,304 Pulaski 8.50%
7 Conway 58,909 Faulkner 8.75%
8 Rogers 55,964 Benton 9.50%
9 Pine Bluff 50,667 Jefferson 9.75%
10 Bentonville 35,301 Benton 9.50%
11 Hot Springs 35,193 Garland 9.50%
12 Benton 30,681 Saline 9.00%
13 Texarkana 29,919 Miller 10.25%
14 Sherwood 29,523 Pulaski 8.50%
15 Jacksonville 28/364 Pulaski 9.50%
16 Russellville 27,920 Pope 9.00%
17 Bella Vista 26,461 Benton 8.50%
18 West Memphis 26,245 Crittenden 9.75%
19 Paragould 261,113 Greene 9.00%
20 Cabot 23,776 Lonoke 9.50%

Top 20 Most Populous Cities in Arkansas and their Sales Tax Rates

When are Arkansas Sales Tax Returns Due?

When you file and pay Arkansas sales tax depends on two things: your assigned filing frequency and your state’s due dates.

How often will you file sales tax returns in Arkansas?

States assign you a filing frequency when you register for your sales tax permit. In most states, how often you file sales tax is based on the amount of sales tax you collect from buyers in the state.

In Arkansas, you will be required to file and remit sales tax either monthly, quarterly or annually.

How often you are required to file sales tax in Arkansas follows this general rule:

Average Monthly Tax Liability Filing Frequency
$100.01 and up Monthly
$25.01 to $100.00 Quarterly
$0 to $25.00 Annually

Arkansas sales tax returns are always due the 20th of the month following the reporting period. If the filing due date falls on a weekend or holiday, sales tax is generally due the next business day.

2017 Arkansas Monthly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
*January February 21, 2017*
February March 20, 2017
March April 20, 2017
*April May 22, 2017*
May June 20, 2017
June July 20, 2017
*July August 21, 2017*
August September 20, 2017
September October 20, 2017
October November 20, 2017
November December 20, 2017
* December January 22, 2018*

*indicates a due date pushed back due to a weekend or holiday

2017 Arkansas Quarterly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
Q1 (Jan - Mar) April 20, 2017
Q2 (Apr-Jun) July 20, 2017
Q3 (Jul-Sep) October 20, 2017
*Q4 (Oct-Dec) January 22, 2018*

2017 Arkansas Annual Sales Tax Filing Due Dates

Taxable Period Due Date
*Year 2017 January 22, 2018*

Click here for a chart of Arkansas sales tax filing due dates in 2017.

How to File Sales Tax in Arkansas

When it comes time to file sales tax in Arkansas you must do three things:

  1. Calculate how much sales tax you owe
  2. File a sales tax return
  3. Make a payment

We’ll walk you through these steps.

How to Calculate How Much Sales Tax You Owe in Arkansas

Calculating how much sales tax you should remit to the state of Arkansas is easy with TaxJar’s Arkansas sales tax report.

All you do is connect the channels through which you sell – including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Square and more – and we’ll calculate exactly how much sales tax you collected. All the information you need to file your Arkansas sales tax return will be waiting for you in TaxJar. Try a 30-day free trial of TaxJar now!

How to File and Pay Sales Tax in Arkansas

You have two options for filing and paying your Arkansas sales tax:

  • File online – File online at the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP). You can remit your payment through their online system.
  • File by mail – You can use Form ET-1 and file and pay through the mail. To file this way you must contact the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration at 501-682-7104 and a form ET-1 will be mailed to you. Here are instructions for filling out Arkansas sales tax form ET-1.
  • AutoFile - Let TaxJar file your sales tax for you. We take care of the payments, too. You’ll never have to worry about spreadsheets, calculations or filling out complex sales tax returns.

A note on paying Arkansas sales and use tax: Arkansas taxpayers whose tax liability is more than $20,000 during the taxable period are required to pay via electronic funds transfer (EFT).

Other Facts You Should Know about Arkansas Sales Tax Filing

There are a few more things you should know about sales tax in Arkansas:

Penalties:

  • Late Filing Penalty - 5% of tax due per month or fraction (maximum 35%)
  • Late Payment Penalty - 5% of tax due per month or fraction (maximum 35%).

Other penalties for fraud or serial offenses include higher penalties and even criminal charges.

“Zero returns”:

Some states require that any seller with a sales tax permit file a sales tax return on your due date even if you don’t have any sales tax to report or pay. Arkansas doesn’t explicitly state that they require sellers to file a zero return. Click here for a list of states that require zero sales tax returns.

Discounts:

Many states understand that collecting sales tax is a difficult burden on merchants, and will provide a discount to help alleviate some of this burden. In Arkansas, you get to retain 2 percent of sales tax collected ($1,000 per month maximum) as a collection fee if you pay before the sales tax deadline. Click here for more about state sales tax discounts.

And that’s it. You’ve mastered Arkansas sales tax filing! Now that sales tax is out of the way, you can get back to what you do best – running your business.

Arkansas Sales Tax Holidays

Arkansas has announced one sales tax holiday in 2016:

August 5-6, 2017: “Back to School Sales Tax Holiday”

Check here for more information about Arkansas’ sales tax holiday, including how to handle sales tax holidays as an online seller.

Arkansas Sales Tax Resources

For more about Arkansas sales tax, check out the Arkansas section of the TaxJar blog.

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