Around the world, women pay high tax rates on period supplies
like pads and tampons. These items are included in high sales tax brackets in many countries, ignoring possible reductions permissible for essential items or even declaring them luxuries before the law.
In the EU for example, the lowest sales tax rate is 5 percent and since 2007, countries are free to depart from standard sales tax rates and apply this lowest possible rate to feminine sanitary products. Still, many countries haven’t lowered their tax rates, with Hungary exhibiting the highest rate at 27 percent. Scandinavian countries, whether they are EU-members or not, tax at around 25 percent and Germany slaps on 19 percent, according to reporting project Civio.
Only the UK and Cyprus have gone as low as 5 percent, with France charging 5.5 percent and the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium tacking on 6 percent. Switzerland currently charges 7.7 percent but is looking to reduce that to 2.5 percent. Equally, Spain has been discussing changing the current 10 percent rate to 4 percent, thereby ignoring the EU directive. The only country with no sales tax on period supplies in Europe is Ireland.