- Aim for 5th-8th grade readability
- Be as precise and definitive as possible
- Be personable
- End sentences with prepositions
- How to deliver bad news
- How to introduce new terms
- Keep it simple
- Use everyday contractions
- Use similes and metaphors when it’s appropriate
- Use simple verb tenses
- Write in active voice
- Write like you talk
- Word list
Use gender-neutral and inclusive language
We communicate to customers in the second person (you), and when we refer to other people, we use third person and keep our language gender neutral, including pronouns. Don’t assume that the accountant, tax expert, or other financial professional is a he.
If you find yourself in the awkward spot where the subject’s gender is unknown, write your way around it. Don’t use “she/he,” “s/he,” “they” or “them,” or “one.” If you absolutely can’t write your way around it, then it’s OK to use they, them, or their.
When we write about a person, use the pronouns they go by. When in doubt, use the person’s name.
In some instances, we ask users to select a gender for themselves or an employee. Unless a specific state or federal regulation requires a binary choice, present these three options:
To comply with tax regulations, in TurboTax we ask for a dependent’s gender. We don’t ask for the gender of the taxpayer or their spouse.
There are other ways to be gender neutral and inclusive:
- Instead of “ladies and gentlemen,” use something like “distinguished guests” or be more specific and say “customers” or “developers.”
- Instead of “men” or “women,” use “everyone.”
- Instead of “the lady or man in the green shirt,” say “the person in the green shirt.”
- Instead of “guys,” try “folks” or “friends” or “team.” These are all better choices in communications such as Slack messages.
- Instead of “boys and girls,” simply say “children.”
- Instead of “brothers and sisters,” try “siblings.”
These neutral choices might not be possible in other languages, but try to be as inclusive as possible when you can. Read the guidelines for other languages on this page.
If you add users, their dashboard looks different from yours.
Add an accountant so you can work together in QuickBooks.
Give developers their own web space for uploads.
Managed users get their own user ID and password.
If you add a user, his or her dashboard will look different from yours.
Add an accountant so she/he can work with you in QuickBooks.
Add an accountant so they can work with you in QuickBooks.
Give each developer his own web space for uploads.
One has one’s own web spaces for uploads.
Each managed user gets his/her own user ID and password.
Each managed user gets their own user ID and password.
Gender neutrality and inclusivity in other languages
French, Portuguese, Spanish, and the other Romance languages are gender-oriented. This means that there are (almost) no neutral alternatives for nouns and pronouns.
To write in a more inclusive and gender-neutral way, we follow the Intuit guidelines and try to write our way around gender whenever possible.
A few examples in Portuguese
Welcome: It will be translated into “Bem-vindo”, which is the masculine form. There’s no neutral way to say “welcome” in Portuguese. Try to write something like “It’s good to have you here” or “We’re glad you’re here.” It’s longer but is a nice way to be gender-neutral and inclusive at the same time.
When possible, omit gender-specific pronouns.
Replace third person (she/he) with second person pronoun (you).
Replace adjectives for neutral alternatives, such as indefinite adjectives, substantives, or objects.