You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

‘Tampon tax’ abolished as VAT is scrapped on sanitary products

Written by: Emma Lunn
The so-called tampon tax, which treated period products as ‘non-essential’ had been labelled ‘sexist’ by campaigners.

The 5% rate of VAT on sanitary products was abolished on 1 January 2021, with sanitary products now having a zero rate of VAT.

The government said the move was part of wider action to end ‘period poverty’ which includes the roll out of free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals.

The move was made possible by end of the Brexit transition period and freedom from EU law mandating VAT on sanitary products.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I’m proud that we are today delivering on our promise to scrap the tampon tax. Sanitary products are essential so it’s right that we do not charge VAT.

“We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women.”

The chancellor announced in the March 2020 Budget that the tampon tax was to be abolished from 1 January 2021.

Felicia Willow, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “We warmly welcome the scrapping of VAT on all sanitary products from 1 January 2021 and congratulate the government on taking this positive step.

“It’s been a long road to reach this point, but at last the sexist tax that saw sanitary products classed as non-essential, luxury items can be consigned to the history books.”

The UK government established the Tampon Tax Fund in 2015 to donate money to charity equivalent to the amount of VAT revenue collected, with £47m donated since then to charities working with vulnerable women and girls.

The zero rate for sanitary products was legislated for in the Finance Act 2016, enabling the change to come in to force as soon as the UK has discretion to do so under its legal obligations.

The government estimates the move will save the average woman nearly £40 over her lifetime, with a cut of 7p on a pack of 20 tampons and 5p on 12 pads.

In November 2020, MPs in Scotland voted to make sanitary products freely available to anyone who needs them. The Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill will cost an estimated £9.7m.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Everything you wanted to know about ISAs…but were afraid to ask

The new tax year is less than a fortnight away and for ISA savers or investors, it’s hugely important. If yo...

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week