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Plain Language at IRS

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." Specifically, the law requires IRS to use plain language to provide:

  • information about any federal government benefit or service;
  • instructions to get any federal government benefit or service or to file taxes; or
  • instructions to comply with any requirement administered or enforced by the federal government.

IRS is committed to writing all new documents in plain language by October 2011, using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines. We have assigned a Plain Language Leader to oversee our efforts. We have, in the past, and continue to train our employees to use plain language, and we're strengthening our oversight process to ensure we fulfill our promise to you.

We're doing all that we can to comply with this Act, but we need your help. Please let us know if you have trouble understanding our documents or the pages on our website, or if we haven't written a document in plain language.

Finally, we've set up this special section of our website to provide you with updates and important information about this initiative. Each year in April, we will also post an annual report for your review. This report will detail our progress and compliance with the Plain Writing Act.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 20-Mar-2014