Rael and Brands Fight ‘Tampon Tax’ for Customer Refunds


Starting Wednesday, consumers paying state sales tax on menstrual products can seek reimbursement through the Tampon Tax Back Coalition. This coalition, consisting of period care brands such as August, Cora, LOLA, The Honey Pot, Rael, Here We Flo, Saalt, and DIVA, will refund the tax paid on eligible items sold by these brands. The initiative aims to challenge the “tampon tax,” referring to the state sales tax imposed on menstrual products in over a dozen U.S. states.

While many states exempt essential items like food and medications from sales tax, period care products are often considered nonessential goods, subject to the standard tax rate. According to the Alliance for Period Supplies, 21 states in the U.S. tax menstrual items at standard rates, resulting in an annual cost of approximately $80 million to consumers.

The Tampon Tax Back Coalition, born out of an initiative in August, has grown with the inclusion of seven additional brands, prioritizing a customer-centric approach to simplify the reimbursement process. The coalition emphasizes the unfairness of customers having to navigate various channels to reclaim the “tampon tax” when purchasing different brands.

Nadya Okamoto, co-founder of August, stresses the importance of changing public opinion and exerting pressure on legislators to address the issue. While progress has been made, there is still work to be done in advancing period equity legislation.

To seek reimbursement, customers can visit the coalition’s website and initiate a claim within ten days of the purchase date for eligible items from the participating brands. Refunds will be processed through Venmo or PayPal within 24 hours of submission. Yanghee Paik, CEO of Rael, considers the coalition a significant step in conveying the essential nature of period care products for basic medical needs. Beatrice Dixon, CEO of The Honey Pot, underscores the need to raise awareness about the tampon tax, emphasizing that consumers shouldn’t have to pay it. The coalition’s streamlined reimbursement process aims to empower customers to reclaim taxes paid on menstrual products.