Wait, there's a tax on tampons?

Did you know that the government thinks tampons are a ‘luxury’ and in many places, charge a tax on them?

Wait … what? First of all, tampons and period products are not a luxury, anymore than toilet paper is a luxury. They are a necessity for our periods. So, if you have a menstrual cycle and you need period products, then you are basically being taxed for having a uterus. Thanks, government…

What is the Tampon Tax?

If you have ever brought a tampon then bets are you’ve been taxed for it. The tampon tax is revenue that is earned from the VAT (value added tax) charge that is applied to all sanitary products.

This means that when you purchase a packet of tampons, you have to pay up to 5% tax rate on top of the original price because the government believe that period care products are ‘non-essential.’ Tax rates will vary depending on state/country.

How does it affect us?

Well if you have your period and your go-to period product is tampons, then you’re basically affected along with half of the population.

Here is a fun fact - the average person uses approximately over 11,000 tampons during their reproductive years. Yeah, that’s a lot, but it’s a necessity, right? Absolutely! What you don’t know, though, is that means each person pays roughly $800 in taxes. Whoa…

In Canada alone, women in 2014 spent $36 million in feminine hygiene product taxes! Did you also know that the average US woman will spend $2,216.66 on tampons in their lifetime? That’s not even counting the tampon tax! Each year, California brings in $20 million in taxes charged on tampons.

Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees no matter how much we want it to. We need tampons and shouldn’t have to pay a luxury item tax on them, especially considering we need them every month for the next couple of decades.

So, how do you stand up for your period rights?

There have been calls to cut the tax ever since the tax since was introduced more than 20 years ago, due to its’ discriminatory nature – only women have to pay it and it is a necessity – meanwhile items like cake decorations, bbq chips and razors are not taxed.

This cause has been picked up around the world, with countries like Australia also petitioning their governments to remove the tax from their menstrual products. This news really showcases what a group of determined individuals can accomplish in a short amount of time; we love it!

Taking a tampon stand!

Many women from all around the world are standing up and taking a stand against the tampon tax. Freedom to periods!

In March 2016, 320,000 people signed a petition on to completely scrap the tampon tax. Approximately three months after the petition was launched, the Canadian federal government abolished the GST and federal portion of the HST would no longer be charged on feminine hygiene products. (Happy Canada Day, ladies!)

That was just the first stand for the rights of period products. Not long after, Britain took a stand and moved into the modern era of squashing the tampon tax. The USA are jumping on board with nine states having exempted menstrual products from their sales tax, and seven have introduced legislation aimed at doing the same.

Unfortunately, Australia is still enduring a 10% tax every time they purchase period products, and the government make a whopping $25 million dollars every single year!

Want to take a stand against your period rights? Then here are a few ideas you can do to help yourself and others who are affected by this unnecessary law:

  • Write to your state representative and ask them to stop the tax on tampons.
  • Send period care products to those who can’t afford them.
  • Join women’s rights movements like the petition

Period care products are not a luxury or ‘non-essential,’ they are a necessity for the well being of our menstrual cycle and our overall period health. Freedom to the tampons!

Blume chooses to fight the patriarchy and with you and so none of the taxes on our period products are passed on to you. Shop organic pads and tampons now.