Arkansas Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits

Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
DMV Related Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
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Summary of Arkansas Military and Veterans Benefits: The state of Arkansas offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.

Arkansas State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

 What are my Arkansas Military/ Veteran State Taxes Benefits?

Military Pay Exempt from Arkansas State Taxes: The Military Pay Exemption (Act 1408 of 2013) created a 100% exemption from income tax for service pay or allowance received by an active duty member of the Armed Forces for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.
Who is eligible for Military Pay Exempt from Arkansas State Taxes? Active duty includes all members of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserve Units.

Learn more about Arkansas Military Pay Tax Exemption

Arkansas Military Spouses Residency Relief Act: Exempts a military Spouse's income from Arkansas tax if the Service member's Home of Record is not Arkansas and the Spouse's domicile is the same as the Service member's Home of Record. Effective January 1, 2009.

Learn more about Arkansas Military Spouse Residency Relief Act

Arkansas Military Family Tax Relief Act of 2003 (Act 372 of 2009): Provisions of this act include exclusion of gain on sale of principal residence, deduction of overnight travel expenses for National Guard and Reserve members, and exclusion from income of "qualified military benefits".

Learn more about Arkansas Military Family Tax Relief

Arkansas Service members Civil Relief Act:

  • Deferral of Tax - Upon notice to the Internal Revenue Service or the tax authority of a state or a political subdivision of a state, the collection of income tax on the income of a Service member falling due before or during military service shall be deferred for a period not more than 180 days after termination of or release from military service, if a Service member's ability to pay such income tax is materially affected by military service.

  • Accrual of Interest or Penalty - No interest or penalty shall accrue for the period of deferment by reason of nonpayment on any amount of tax deferred under this section.

  • Statute of Limitations - The running of a statute of limitations against the collection of tax deferred under this section, by seizure or otherwise, shall be suspended for the period of military service of the Service member and for an additional period of 270 days thereafter.

  • Residence or Domicile - A Service member shall neither lose nor acquire a residence or domicile for purposes of taxation with respect to the person, personal property, or income of the Service member by reason of being absent or present in any tax jurisdiction of the United States solely in compliance with military orders.

  • Military Service Compensation - Compensation of a Service member for military service shall not be deemed to be income for services performed or from sources within a tax jurisdiction of the United States if the Service member is not a resident or domiciliary of the jurisdiction in which the Service member is serving in compliance with military orders.

Learn more about Arkansas Service Members Civil Relief Act

 Arkansas Homestead and Personal Property Tax Exemption: Disabled Veterans shall be exempt from payment of all state taxes on the homestead and personal property owned by the disabled Veteran.
Who is eligible for Arkansas Homestead and Personal Property Tax Exemption? Arkansas Veterans who have been rated, by the VA, as 100% service connected (Permanent and Total) or awarded Special Monthly Compensation for loss or loss of use of one or more limbs total blindness in one or both eyes. Surviving Spouses, so long as they do not remarry, dependent Children, during their minority, are also eligible for this entitlement if the Veteran was killed or died in the scope of his military duties, is missing in action, or died from service connected causes as certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. If subsequent marriage is terminated, Surviving Spouse may be reinstated. In all cases, annual re-certification of continued entitlement by the VA is required. (AR Code 26-3-306 et. seq.)

Learn more About Arkansas Homestead and Personal Property Tax Exemption

Arkansas Gross Receipts or Gross Proceeds Tax Exemption: Gross receipts and gross proceeds derived from the sale of motor vehicles and adaptive equipment to disabled Veterans who have purchased the vehicles or adaptive equipment with the financial assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs as provided under 38 U.S.C. 1901-1905. (AR Code 26-52-401(6)-et. seq.)

Gross receipts or proceeds derived from the sale of new automobiles to a Veteran who is blind as a result of a service-connected injury. Registration will require an entitlement letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs and will be limited to one new vehicle every two (2) years. This exemption defines "automobile" as a passenger vehicle or pickup truck but does not include trucks with a maximum gross load in excess of three-quarter (3/4) ton and does not include any trailer. (AR Code 26-52-415 et. seq.)
Who is eligible for Arkansas Gross Receipts or Gross Proceeds Tax Exemption? A Veteran who is blind as a result of a service-connected injury. Registration will require an entitlement letter from the VA and will be limited to one new vehicle every two (2) years. (AR Code 26-52-415 et.seq)

Learn more about Arkansas State Gross Receipt of Tax Exemption

Military Retirement Pay is Exempt from all Arkansas State Taxes: Act 141 of Arkansas’ 91st General Assembly exempts Military Retired Pay from Arkansas State Income Taxes effective 1 January 2018.

Learn more about Arkansas State Tax Exemption for All Military Retired Pay

Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975;

  • You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975;

  • You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:

    • Resulted directly from armed conflict,

    • Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service,

    • Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or

    • Was caused by an instrumentality of war.

  • You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA).

Learn more about Arkansas State Taxes on Military Disability Retired Pay

Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

 Learn more about Arkansas State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Arkansas State Tax Benefits: As of 1 January 2018, Survivor benefits that are funded by the retirement pay of a member of the uniformed services are exempt from Arkansas State Income tax.
Who is eligible for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Arkansas State Tax Benefits? Any surviving beneficiary is exempt from paying state income tax on their RCSBP/ SBP/ RSFPP annuity.

Learn more about Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Arkansas State Tax Benefits

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 What are My Arkansas Military and Veteran Education Benefits?

 Arkansas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program: Arkansas National Guard Tuition Assistance pays up to 120 credit hours or until completion of a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.
Who is eligible for Arkansas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program? All current National Guard Service members that meet the following criteria:

  • Arkansas Resident

  • Completed Basic Training

  • Does not already hold a bachelors or higher degree

  • Enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an Arkansas public institution of higher education

  • Not flagged for serious misconduct (such as AWOL, ASAP, etc.)

Arkansas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program Flyer

Learn more about the Arkansas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program

Arkansas Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS) : The Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS), provides financial aid for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate of completion at any public college, university or technical school in Arkansas who qualify as a Spouse or dependent Child of an Arkansas resident who has been declared to be missing in action, killed in action, a prisoner of war, or killed on ordnance delivery, or a Veteran who has been declared to be 100% totally and permanently disabled during, or as a result of, active military service.
Who is eligible for Arkansas Military Dependents Scholarship Program? The Spouse or dependent Child must:

  • Be a bona fide Arkansas resident;

  • Be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien;

  • Be the biological, legally adopted Child OR Spouse of an eligible Arkansas Veteran;

  • Be enrolled, or be accepted for admission to, an approved Arkansas public institution;

  • Provide required documentation as determined by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in order to determine eligibility.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

  • Must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours per academic year.

Award Amount: The MDS Program will cover the unpaid portion of the cost (if any) of tuition and mandatory fees and a room and meal plan when provided in on-campus facilities after three (3) months of Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) or Chapter 35 benefits have been deducted from the total costs. If there is no positive balance after deduction of DEA benefits, then no benefits will be paid.

The MDS Program cannot be used to cover the cost of books, auto permit, damages or accessories to dorm room, or utility bills. The institution will be reimbursed for covered charges after verification of full-time (12 or more credit hours) enrollment each semester. Eligibility is limited to eight semesters or the achievement of a degree, whichever occurs first. The Spouse will no longer be eligible if he or she remarries.

Learn more about the Arkansas Military Dependents Scholarship Program

Arkansas Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: High School Diplomas can be obtained for WWII Veterans as well as Korean and Vietnam Veterans who were called up for active duty service before finishing high school. Qualifying Veterans should contact their school superintendent or the Arkansas Department of Education .

Learn more about Arkansas Diplomas for Veterans

Arkansas In State Tuition for Veterans, Service Members and Dependents: Regardless of residence, a state-supported institution of higher education, trade schools, or vocational schools shall classify a student as in-state, in-county, in-district, or resident for the purpose of tuition and fees applicable for all programs of study, including distance learning programs, if the student is a:

  • Veteran who was discharged or released from a period of not less than ninety (90) days of active duty in the military, naval, or air service within three (3) years before the date of enrollment in a program of study;

  • Dependent of a Veteran

  • A member of the Armed Forces

  • A Spouse of a member of the Armed Forces (AR Code § 6-60-205)

Learn more about Arkansas in State Tuition for Veterans, Service Members and Dependents

Arkansas Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by: