How to Compute Arkansas Sales Tax

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Arkansas imposes a state sales tax.
Arkansas imposes a state sales tax. (Image: Arkansas state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Arkansas imposes a state sales tax on purchases in the state. The tax has two different rates: one for general purchases and one for food purchases. Depending on where you live, you may also have to pay a local sales tax. In order to calculate Arkansas sales tax, you need to know the price of what is being purchased and what the current sales tax rates are for the state and city or county.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Sales tax rates

Check the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration to find the current general sales tax rate, the reduced food tax rate and the local sales tax rate, if any. As of 2010, the general sales tax rate equals six percent and the reduced food tax equals two percent. The local sales tax rates go as high as 3.5 percent.

Determine the portion of your purchase subject to the general sales tax and the portion that is subject to the reduced food rate. For example, suppose that your purchase was in the amount of $150, having spent $120 on food and $30 on movies.

Multiply the entire purchase by the local sales tax rate. In this example, if you lived in Alma, you would multiply $150 by 0.02 to find the local sales tax to be $2.50.

Multiply the portion subject to the general sales tax by 0.06. In this example, you would multiply $30 by 0.06 to get $1.80.

Multiply the food portion of your purchase by 0.02. In this example, you would multiply $120 by 0.02 to get $2.40.

Add the the amount of the local tax, the general sales tax and the food tax together to find the total amount of sales tax. Finishing this example, you would add $2.50, $1.80 and $2.40 to find the total sales tax to be $6.70.

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