Arkansas State Taxes are very similar to federal taxes and must be filed by the same day as federal taxes. There are a few key differences. For Arkansas tax purposes, married couples can file jointly or individually.
You are considered a resident of Arkansas for tax purposes if you have a permanent resident or a dwelling place in Arkansas and intend to return to it after leaving or if you spend more than six months of the taxable year in Arkansas.
Non-residents and part-time residents who receive income from an Arkansas source must also file a return.
Personal Property Taxes and Assessing
Many new residents are surprised about the Personal Property taxes that are due every year in Arkansas. Yearly taxes are imposed on real estate, automobiles, pick-up trucks, recreational vehicles, boats and motors, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Personal property must be assessed at the local assessor's office or online on or before May 31. The taxes must be paid on or before October 10.
Arkansas imposes sales tax on new and used motor vehicle purchases. This tax is due at the time of registration of the vehicle and not at the point of sale. Application for registration must be made within 30 calendar days from the date of the purchase. Tax is paid on the total amount of the sale, less the trade-in, or private sale deduction. Extended warranty costs are also taxable. No sales tax is due on a used vehicle if the vehicle's total sale is less than $2,500. List of DMVs in Little Rock.
Act 645 of 2003 repealed the estate tax for decedents dying on or after January 1, 2005. No estate taxes are due for deaths occurring after that date.
The state imposes a sales tax of 6.5% on tangible personal property. Food and food ingredients are taxed at a reduced rate of 1.5%. Each city and county are allowed to add additional sales and use taxes. Currently (2013), the sales tax in Little Rock is 9% on goods and 4% on food. There is generally a tax-free holiday the first Saturday of August for back to school items.
Motor Fuel Tax
Motor fuel is axed at 21.5 cents per gallon. Diesel fuel is taxed at 22.5 cents per gallon. This price is reflected in the price posted at the pump.
Admission prices to tourist attractions like museums, watercraft rentals, hotel rooms and other touristy things are subject to a 2% tourism tax.
Arkansas imposes an extra 1% tax on alcoholic beverages, excluding beer, at restaurants. An additional 4% tax is due on the sale of all mixed drinks for on-premises consumption. There is a 3% off premise tax on retail sales of liquor and wine, and an additional 1% tax on the sale of beer.
The cigarette tax is $1.15 per pack, and 68% percent on other tobacco products.
Prescription drugs are exempt from sales tax, as are some medical devices like glucometers.
Restaurant and Hotel Taxes
Hotels charge an additional 2% over the sales tax. Restaurants charge 10.5% in Little Rock, 11% in North Little Rock, 11.25% in Fayetteville and 11.625% in Hot Springs..