Why You Might Receive FBR Notice and What to Do Next

Facing a notice from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) can be stressful, leaving you wondering what triggered it and how to respond. Understanding the reasons behind FBR notices can empower you to address them efficiently and maintain tax compliance.

Direct Reasons for an Income Tax Notice:

  • Discrepancies: Overstatements, understatements, or missing information in your tax return can raise red flags.
  • Incomplete Details: Inadequate documentation for specific income sources like agriculture, gifts, inheritances, or foreign remittances can trigger scrutiny.
  • Unexplained Fluctuations: Abnormal losses, carried-forward losses, or unapproved refunds may invite questions.
  • Concealment Suspicions: If the FBR suspects hidden income, expenses, or assets, they may investigate further.
  • Tax Benefits: Claiming final tax, exempted income, or 100% tax credit may require additional verification.

Direct Reasons for a Sales Tax Notice:

  • Suspected Sales Suppression: Evidence suggesting under-reporting of sales can lead to inquiries.
  • Unclear Tax Liability: Transactions exempt from further tax or those with significant carried-forward input tax may warrant clarification.
  • Input Tax Adjustments: Incorrect adjustments or claiming 100% input tax credit might prompt investigation.

Indirect Reasons for a Notice:

  • Routine Audits: Random annual audits or system-based checks can select your return for review.
  • Commissioner’s Discretion: Commissioners may choose specific returns for deeper scrutiny based on observations or HQ instructions.
  • Target-Based Initiatives: Recovery drives or specific compliance campaigns might lead to targeted notices.
  • International Information Exchange: Data leaks like Panama Papers or OECD data sharing may prompt investigations.
  • Malpractices by Tax Professionals: Unethical practices by tax advisors can inadvertently put you under scrutiny.


  • Receiving a notice doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong. It’s an opportunity to clarify any discrepancies and ensure compliance.
  • Seek professional guidance from qualified tax advisors who can analyze your specific situation and assist you in responding to the notice efficiently.
  • Maintaining accurate records, filing returns on time, and being transparent about your finances can help minimize the risk of future notices.

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