Megan L. Brackney and Bryan C. Skarlatos quoted in "What You Need to Know About Amending Your Tax Returns" , The Wall Street Journal on December 15, 2019

Common errors include neglecting to report all taxable income or valuable deductions and credits

Even with the increasingly widespread use of sophisticated tax-preparation software, it’s easy to make costly errors, omissions or both. 

In the dazzlingly complex world of income taxes, however, amending a return isn’t always as simple as filing IRS Form 1040X (which will be renamed Form 1040-X in January 2020). Figuring out what to do depends on your specific facts and circumstances, “such as the materiality of the error, whether the error was the result of fraud or criminal activity, whether the IRS has already started an audit or investigation of the taxpayer, and numerous other considerations,” says Megan L. Brackney, a lawyer at Kostelanetz & Fink.

In some cases, filing an amended return could be the wrong approach, warns Bryan Skarlatos, a lawyer at Kostelanetz & Fink. Examples include cases in which your return already is being audited, or cases in which the issues might involve criminal matters, or both. These can be highly complex issues, and the best response depends on the details of your case. 

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