If you're getting ready to file Arkansas state income tax, you'll need to know how much you can expect to pay as well as what to file and when. Arkansas has a unique graduated-rate income tax system. This means that, as your taxable income changes, you may shift to a different tier and even a different table. Once you get a handle on your tax rate, it's time to get familiar with all of the basics of filing an individual income tax return in Arkansas.
Who Must File Arkansas Income Taxes?
A taxpayer's filing status and gross income dictate whether they must file a tax return in the State of Arkansas. Both full-year and part-time residents must file if they are single and make a gross income above $13,054. When filing jointly or as head of household, the number of dependents also determines the need to file:
- Head of household filers with up to one dependent and gross income above $18,560, or two or more dependents and gross income at or above $22,126, must file. These same guidelines apply to qualifying widowers.
- Joint filers with up to one dependent and gross income of $22,016 or more, or two or more children and a gross income of $26,497 or more, must file.
Nonresidents must file if they have received any amount of income from an Arkansas source. Part-year residents must also file if they received any income from any source during their residency. Visit the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (dfa.arkansas.gov) to learn how to compute tax when you are not a full-time Arkansas resident.
What Are the Forms to Use?
Married couples residing in separate states may not file jointly on the same form. The resident uses AR1000F, the nonresident spouse will use AR1000NR and the couple will file using Filing Status 5, Married Filing Separate Returns.
Forms for the 2021 tax year will be posted on the Arkansas DFA forms page when available.
What Is the Tax Rate in Arkansas?
For 2021, the overall range is 0 and 5.9 percent. There are three different tax tables, each broken up into tiers, depending on taxable income:
- 0 to 3.4 percent: divided into four tiers, on net income under $22,900
- 0.75 to 5.9 percent: divided into six tiers, on net income $22,900 to $82,000
- 2 to 5.9 percent: divided into three tiers, on net income over $82,000
What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?
Individual Arkansas state income tax returns are due by midnight on Monday, April 18, 2022, since the traditional date of April 15 falls on a day observed as a holiday by many taxpayers.
For an automatic federal extension through the IRS, file Form 4868 by Monday, April 18, 2022. In this case, you do not file the incomplete Arkansas income tax return. Instead, submit your complete form by October 17, 2022, and check the box on the return form that indicates you requested an extension.
If you do not file for the federal extension, you may file for an Arkansas extension on Form AR1055-IT, which must also be received by April 18, 2022, and will be valid for 180 days. In this case, when you submit your return, you will attach a copy of your Arkansas extension along with it and check the box on the front of the return.
The Arkansas DFA makes clear that extension to file is not an extension to pay. Not filing on time has a greater penalty than not paying on time. There is no late filing penalty if you submit for an extension.
What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?
Late tax filing in Arkansas will cost you an additional 5 percent on the amount owed for each month the tax return is late. Making a late tax payment will add 1 percent to the amount of taxes owed.
If you are unable to make a full tax payment when filing taxes, the State of Arkansas encourages you to make any payment you can to reduce the overall penalty.
For underpayment, through total estimated tax payments or withholding tax, taxpayers may be charged a penalty, depending on how much is owed and if that amount is more than 10 percent of the tax owed. There are exceptions, however. You will fill out Form AR2210 or AR2210A to determine if a penalty is owed.
Where Do I Mail/E-file My Arkansas Return?
If you e-file your federal tax return, you may also electronically file your Arkansas state tax return at the same time, with very few exceptions. The State of Arkansas is a member of the Free File Alliance, so you may qualify for free online tax preparation and filing.
The Arkansas DFA also requires you to complete form AR8453-OL to be kept in your records but not mailed.
If you do not e-file your federal tax return, your Arkansas tax return must be filed on paper forms with your W-2s attached to the front of the return.
Mail the completed Arkansas state tax returns to Arkansas State Income Tax, P.O. Box 2144, Little Rock, AR 72201-2144.
How Do I Pay Taxes Due?
When you e-file, you can pay any taxes owed directly from your bank account when you submit your return through the tax preparation software. If you file early and wish to pay another time before the due date, you may submit a check.
Make checks payable to the Department of Finance and Administration. Be sure the tax year is on the check or money order along with your Social Security number.
Submit the payment and forms, along with a voucher, Form AR1000V, to Arkansas State Income Tax, P.O. Box 2144, Little Rock, AR 72201-2144.
If you have a refund due, submit your tax return to the same address above, but to P.O. Box 1000 instead.
Where Can I Check My Arkansas Refund Status?
You may check the status of your return through Where's My Refund on the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point website. You'll need to provide your Social Security number and the expected refund amount. You may also call (501) 682-1100 or (800) 882-9275 and choose option 1 to inquire about your refund.
The Arkansas DFA estimates that taxpayers with e-filed returns will be issued a refund by direct deposit within 21 business days of confirmed receipt of the tax return. Those who file a paper tax return can expect a longer wait – up to 10 weeks.
What About Arkansas Taxes if You're Self-employed?
Self-employed taxpayers must file form AR1000F or AR1000NR and include any business income or losses on Line 13, as well as include IRS Federal Schedule C with their Arkansas state income tax return.
What About Arkansas Taxes if You're a Business?
The corporate business tax in Arkansas has a range of 1 to 6.2 percent for tax year 2021. Business owners must submit the corporation's complete federal income tax return along with their Arkansas return.
Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. But check for any changes at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration before you file.
- Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point
- Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA):Individual Income Tax
- Arkansas Economic Development Commission (Arkansas Inc.): Personal Income Tax
- Arkansas DFA: Individual Income Tax FAQ
- Tax Foundation: Implementing Phase Three of Individual Income Tax Cuts in Arkansas
- Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration: Arkansas 2021 Individual Income Tax Forms and Instructions
- Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Arkansas individual income tax rates, explained
Melissa is a writer and editor from Chicago, with a background in small business ownership. After selling her business, she moved into marketing for nonprofits and now manages volunteers at a large medical association. She is a writing and editing contractor and contributed to dozens of blogs and websites.