Church’s Purchases of Supplies and Food Not Exempt in Arkansas

A church was denied a request for exemption from Arkansas sales tax on purchases of janitorial supplies, office supplies, groceries and packaged food, and curriculum. In Arkansas, there is no general sales tax exemption for sales made to charitable organizations. Certain sales made by a church are specifically exempt, but there is no exemption for sales made to a church. If a church purchases items as a sale for resale, the church may purchase those items exempt by claiming the resale exemption. To qualify, the church must have either a resale certificate or a letter opinion issued by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration certifying that it is a church and that it intends to resell the items purchased. Sales by churches are exempt so long as the church does not operate for profit and does not compete with sales made by for-profit businesses. Since the church did not indicate that any of the purchased items will be resold, the items do not qualify for exemption and are subject to Arkansas sales tax. (Revenue Legal Counsel Opinion No. 20190827, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, February 26, 2020)

Posted on May 7, 2020