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Your Money in Your Words

July 22, 2011 : Becky Brown - H&R Block

Becky Brown

When I first started filing taxes, I would go to the library and get a trusty Form 1040, and the instruction booklet that went with it. Then, I’d go home and leave the papers on my kitchen table for several weeks. Just the form and the instructions were so much paper that filing my taxes seemed insurmountable.

Considering that the instruction booklet for the 2010 Form 1040 is 100 pages – yes, exactly 100 pages – it’s no wonder I was overwhelmed. That’s a lot of information, and I wasn’t sure how much of it applied to me. And, it’s written in Taxspeak.

You know what I’m talking about. Taxspeak the language that the government has to use to cover all of its bases with all of the people, all of the time. It’s up to the individual taxpayer or tax preparer to translate from Taxspeak into my favorite language: Stuff Normal People Say and Understand.

While the IRS does a commendable job of breaking down insanely complex rules, those Form 1040 instructions still leave a little to be desired.

That’s where your friends at H&R Block come in.

Our editors work with our tax experts to create language in H&R Block At Home that real people understand. And the software and online programs are set up so that if something doesn’t apply to you? You don’t have to read it. The days of being intimidated by those huge instruction booklets are over.

We aim to write everything at an 8th-grade reading level. This is the generally accepted average reading level of Americans. But what does that mean?

TV Guide is written at a 9th-grade reading level. So, if you can read TV Guide, you should be able to do your taxes. And if not? Just ask! H&R Block At Home has all sorts of tax help – both in the product and through Ask a Tax Advisor. You can always find a helpful tax professional who speaks your language in our offices, too.

There’s no reason to leave all those tax documents on your kitchen table for weeks and weeks. Get in, get out, get your taxes done.

Becky Brown - H&R Block

Becky Brown - H&R Block

H&R Block Digital

Becky was the senior editorial manager for H&R Block At Home.

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