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NewsAugust 02, 2023

Tax-Free Savings

Written By: Ian Silvester

Prepare to line your wallets with extra savings! The annual Tax-Free Weekend returns Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6.
So, what is Tax-Free Weekend, and how does it work?
Tax-Free Weekend is a sales tax holiday that went into effect in 2011 to help students and their families save on back-to-school necessities. In the twelve years since, more items, like electronics, that are frequently used by students have been added to the holiday to help savings stretch even further.
At the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, students can begin cashing in on the savings as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 5 when shopping online at the UAFS Lion’s Bookstore. Textbooks, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, notebooks, calculators, laptops, printers, and clothes are all eligible to be purchased tax-free. However, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, some items do not qualify for the exemption.
A list of eligible and non-eligible tax-free items can be found online and posted around the UAFS Lion’s Bookstore inside the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Bookstore associates will also be available to help answer questions.
DaWaina Nolan, UAFS Lion’s Bookstore manager, said the savings are a big success in-store and online. “Sales from Tax-Free Weekend are typically about a third of what we see for August.”
The store will be open for in-store shopping Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but online shoppers will be able to make tax-free purchases through Aug. 6 until 11:59 p.m., and shoppers will have access to a larger selection of electronics and supplies.
Nolan encourages all students, faculty, and staff to use the savings to purchase new UAFS gear in preparation for cooler temperatures and to cheer on UAFS Athletics. She noted that the recent shirts produced by Houndstooth Clothing Company have been a hit, and shoppers can soon expect new designs to be available. All individual items of clothing under $100 and clothing accessories under $50 are eligible to be purchased tax-free.
Classroom essentials are also tax-free. New and used textbooks, calculators, spiral notebooks, laptops, printers, tablets, e-Readers, keyboards, and monitors qualify for the savings.
“Especially with textbooks, you can almost save enough money on taxes to pay for a whole other textbook or more,” Nolan explained. However, it should be noted that digital copies of textbooks are not eligible to be purchased tax-free.
All food and drink items sold in the UAFS Lion’s Bookstore are not tax-free.
Anyone wishing for additional savings can avoid shipping costs if purchasing items in-store; however, if buying online, items can be picked up at the UAFS Lion’s Bookstore. Purchases will be held for 30 days, allowing students to make tax-free purchases and wait to pick them up once the fall semester begins on Monday, August 21. Online orders can also be shipped to a desired address, but not a PO Box.
Purchases can be made with cash, credit or debit cards, gift cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, or financial aid. According to UAFS Financial Aid Director Karen Jeffers, any purchase made with financial aid can only be applied to textbooks, supplies, and select electronics. This applies only to “students who have enough financial aid to cover all charges on their account with some aid left over.”

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  • Tax-Free Weekend
  • UAFS Lion's Bookstore