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It’s official! New York to exempt tampons


 Feminine hygiene products are soon to be exempt from New York sales tax.

Updated 8.9.2016

There's been a lot of buzz around exempting tampons and sanitary napkins from sales tax, and not just in the United States. Over the last few years, there have been calls for tampon tax exemptions around the globe, including in Australia, France, Great Britain, and Malaysia. The tax was eliminated last year in Canada, and it seemed that 2016 would be the Year of the Tampon Tax Exemption here in the U.S. —   legislation to create such an exemption was introduced in at least six states and one city (Chicago).

Over the course of several months, several of these bills died. Two, however, made it to the governors’ desks, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is the first to put pen to paper. He signed the bill on July 21, saying “This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice.” The New York exemption takes effect September 1, 2016 and applies to the following:

  • Douches
  • Feminine hygiene sypringes
  • Panty liners
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tampons
  • Vaginal creams, foams, ointments, jellies, powders, and sprays used for hygiene purposes

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has yet to sign (or indicate whether or not he intends to sign) the bill sitting on his desk.

Changes in product taxability need to be incorporated into point of sale systems. Sales tax software-as-a-service is the most effective and efficient tool to manage sales tax rate, rules, and product taxability changes. Learn how it works.


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.