The ‘tampon tax’ has been abolished – with a zero rate of VAT applying to women’s sanitary products coming into effect today (1 January 2021).
The move honours a government commitment to scrap the tax and is part of a wider strategy to make sanitary products affordable and available for all women which includes:
- January 2020’s roll out of free period products for all young people in English state schools and colleges and extension of the scheme into 2021
- the NHS offering period products to every hospital patient who needs them (including long-term in-patients) since 2019
- the Tampon Tax Fund, established in 2015, which allocated the funds generated from VAT on period products to projects supporting vulnerable and excluded women and girls
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
The Chancellor announced that the tampon tax was to be abolished from 1 January 2021 at March 2020 Budget. As the transition period ended on December 31st, the UK is no longer bound by the EU VAT Directive which mandates a minimum 5% tax on all sanitary products.
Felicia Willow, Fawcett Society Chief Executive, said:
The Tampon Tax Fund will continue to provide funding for projects supporting vulnerable women and girls. Successful applicants to the £15 million funding for 2020/21 were announced last month.