Windfall for State as it rakes in €170m in one-off corporation tax payments
ONE-OFF corporation tax payments totalling €170m contributed to corporation tax running €606m ahead of target for the first six months of this year, according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
In the six months to the end of June, the Government took in €2.78bn in corporation tax - 28pc ahead of the Department of Finance's projections of €2.15bn.
The total corporation tax collected in 2014 was €4.617bn.
In a written Dail response to Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath, Minister Noonan said that on the basis of evidence available, the over performance in receipts "is a result of a combination of reasons".
He said these include "improved trading performance across a number of sectors but with particular emphasis on the multinational sector. In addition, there has been a number of one-payments, amounting to approximately €170m."
"The performance of corporation tax receipts in the first six months of 2015 has been very impressive and welcome," he said. "However, while positive preliminary tax payments suggest the outlook for the remainder of 2015 is positive, it is too early to predict whether there will be a similar strong over-performance throughout the second half of the year."
He added: "Corporation tax receipts are generally skewed towards the second half of the year, with circa 40pc of receipts expected in the final two months.
"In addition, it is important to point out that there has been significant volatility displayed in the past and a degree of caution should be used when looking at the headline performance."
Deputy McGrath said "the better than expected tax receipts are welcome but it would appear that at least some of the extra revenue is from one off factors relating to company profits.
He added: "In deciding on priorities for next year's budget it is important that choices are not influenced by short term tax windfalls. Last year it proved extremely difficult to get up to date information from Finance on the out turn it expected.
"It would help the pre-budget debate if the Department was more forthcoming on what it believes is the true underlying state of the public finances."