The Tampon Tax Back Coalition: Paving the Way for Period Care Equity

Tampon tax
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The Coalition’s Fight Against the ‘Tampon Tax’

In a remarkable and pioneering collaboration, prominent period care brands, including August, Rael, Cora, LOLA, The Honey Pot, and more, have united to challenge the imposition of the so-called ‘tampon tax’ and offer consumers an opportunity to reclaim the state sales tax on menstrual products. This collective effort, known as the Tampon Tax Back Coalition, marks a significant stride towards period care equity.

Reimbursement for Consumers

Effective from Wednesday, consumers who have been subject to state sales tax on menstrual products can now take advantage of the opportunity to seek reimbursement for these incurred costs when they purchase period care items. The Tampon Tax Back Coalition, which comprises eight influential period care brands, has taken the laudable initiative to reimburse consumers for the tax they pay on eligible items sold by these brands.

A Closer Look at the ‘Tampon Tax’

The ‘tampon tax’ is a term used to describe the state sales tax imposed on products like tampons, pads, and menstrual cups in over a dozen U.S. states. In a puzzling discrepancy, while essential items such as food and medications are exempt from sales tax, period care products are not, as current state tax codes categorize them as nonessential goods.

The Coalition’s Vision

The primary goal of the Tampon Tax Back Coalition is to eliminate the ‘tampon tax.’ To achieve this ambitious mission, the coalition seeks to reshape public opinion and exert significant pressure on legislators. Nadya Okamoto, co-founder of August, an inclusive period care brand, underscores the importance of this mission. She emphasizes that although some progress has been made, there remains a considerable distance to travel on this path towards achieving period care equity.

The Widespread Impact

Data from the Alliance for Period Supplies reveals that twenty-one U.S. states tax menstrual items at ‘standard rates.’ This means that tampons and pads are taxed at the same rate as any other nonessential product you would typically find on the shelves of your local retailer.

The Financial Burden

The annual financial burden of these taxes on consumers is staggering, estimated at around $80 million, according to Period Law, a group that actively recruits volunteer attorneys to support period equity legislation. This figure highlights the significant and far-reaching impact that the ‘tampon tax’ has on individuals and households across the nation.

The Coalition’s Evolution

The Tampon Tax Back Coalition was initially conceived by August in May and has since garnered support from seven additional brands. Together, they prioritize making the reimbursement process more accessible to customers, with a focus on simplifying the cumbersome process of reclaiming the ‘tampon tax.’ This evolution underscores the commitment of the coalition to improving the experience for consumers.

The Essential Nature of Period Care Products

Yanghee Paik, CEO of Rael, a clean feminine care and skincare startup, views the coalition as a critical step towards recognizing period care products as essential for covering basic medical needs. She sheds light on the unfortunate lack of awareness surrounding this issue in the country and criticizes the regressive nature of the ‘tampon tax.’

Raising Awareness

Beatrice Dixon, CEO at The Honey Pot, candidly shares her journey of discovering the ‘tampon tax’ only after founding her period care brand. She passionately advocates that consumers should not bear this financial burden and finds participating in the coalition’s mission to be an obvious and morally sound choice.

How to Get Reimbursed

For consumers eager to claim their rightful reimbursement, a straightforward process awaits. Simply visit the coalition’s website and initiate a claim within ten days of the purchase date for eligible items from the eight participating brands. The coalition is committed to a swift reimbursement process, with customers receiving their refunds via Venmo or PayPal within a remarkably short 24 hours of submission.