Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The IRS Must Now Write In English

Well, not exactly.  The IRS will continue to have Spanish counterparts to its regular forms.  However, today President Obama signed into law the Plain Writing Act of 2010.  This law requires that all federal agencies write their forms more clearly and in plain language that the intended audience can understand.

Is this law necessary? - Yes.

Should it be necessary? - No.  Its a bit ridiculous that writing in plain "English" should have to be mandated by law.  But sadly, in many instances, it is necessary.

The Iowa Politics website provided some examples of what these plain writing changes might look like when it announced the earlier passage of the bill in the House of Representatives.  These examples can be found here.  As an observation, the IRS appears to have seen the passage of the legislation coming as several of its forms began changing before the bill was singed into law. 

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