Candy and soft drinks will be subject to the full 6.5% Arkansas state sales and use tax rate beginning January 1, 2018. A 2017 law removed candy and soft drinks from the definitions of “food” and “food ingredients.” Therefore, they will no longer qualify for the reduced 1.5% state rate. Local rates continue to apply. A release lists various popular snacks and drinks and specifies whether they are or are not candy and soft drinks. Their applicable tax rates are also listed. Candy is defined as a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces. Soft drink is defined as a nonalcoholic beverage that contains natural or artificial sweeteners.
Release, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, December 2017, ¶400-859
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