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Tampon Tax

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Tampon Tax

May 30, 2023

The tampon tax, also known as the “pink tax,” refers to the sales tax that is placed on period products such as tampons and pads. 

While many other basic necessities, such as food and medicine, are tax-exempt, period products are not. This has led to widespread debate about the fairness and impact of the tampon tax on people who menstruate. 

What is the Tampon Tax?

The tampon tax is a sales tax that is placed on period products. Even though pads and tampons are essential for managing periods, they are not considered “necessities” or “medical items” in many states and countries. As a result, they are subject to sales tax, which can range from 4% to as much as 10% in some places.

The History of the Tampon Tax

Sales tax has been applied to period products in various countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, and Australia. The tampon tax first became a major issue in the UK in 2015 when a petition was launched calling for the government to remove the tax. It received over 300,000 signatures, and the issue gained widespread media attention. 

In response to public pressure, the UK government announced in 2016 that it would abolish the tampon tax. However, this has yet to be fully implemented due to the complexities of Brexit negotiations.

What States Have Removed the Tampon Tax?

In the United States, efforts to eliminate the tampon tax have been led by individual states. Currently, 28 states plus D.C. have removed the tax on period products. Some of the most recent states to remove the tampon tax include Iowa, Colorado and Michigan!

The Impact of the Tampon Tax

The tampon tax matters because it places an unfair financial burden on people who menstruate. Period products are not luxury items, but they are taxed as if they are. 

For many people, especially those who live in poverty or are experiencing homelessness, the cost of period products can be a significant financial burden. 

The tampon tax also perpetuates gender-based discrimination and reinforces the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Check out our legislation map for policy updates in YOUR state!

Stay in the flow — we’ll send you period positivity + timely updates on the menstrual movement.

claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! Since 2021, we've donated over 6 MILLION period products to menstruators in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®