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Plain Language at TTB

Writing You Can Understand

At TTB, we are committed to writing all of our new and substantially revised documents and public Web content in plain language by October 2011.

We'll use plain language in any document that:

  • Is used to obtain any of our benefits or services, or for filing taxes;
  • Provides information about any of our benefits or services; or
  • Explains how to comply with a requirement that we administer or enforce

Plain Writing Act of 2010

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF, 125 KB, 3 pages, October 2010) requires all federal agencies to write "clear government communication that the public can understand and use." President Obama also emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his January 21, 2009 Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government


The Act applies to letters, publications, forms, notices, and instructions, but does not apply to regulations. Two other executive orders (E.O. 12866 and E.O. 12988) cover the use of plain language in regulations.

Help Us

We're training our employees and have strengthened our oversight process. You can help us to meet our plain language goals by letting us know when we fall short. We have assigned staff to oversee our plain language efforts:


If you have trouble understanding any of our documents or any material on our website, contact us at TTBWebmaster@ttb.gov.

Plain Language Resources

TTB Progress Reports

We have to report on our compliance with the Plain Writing Act. We'll post that annual report and our progress statements here.

Other Resources

Federal Plain Language Guidelines
Apply these OMB–approved guidelines to your writing.

National Institute of Health (NIH): The Plain Language Initiative
Use these resources to achieve the goal of plain language in your writing.

NIH Plain Language Online Training
Browse these online training modules to learn the basics of plain language.

PLAIN, the Plain Language Action and Information Network
PLAIN promotes the use of plain language for all government communications.

Last updated: January 9, 2020
Maintained by: Office of Communications