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Sunday 30 April 2017

Tax revenues €500m higher than expected at €14bn

'Figures from the Department of Finance for the period to the end of April show tax revenues were up 9pc year-on-year to just over €14bn - €475m above expectations' Stock photo: PA
'Figures from the Department of Finance for the period to the end of April show tax revenues were up 9pc year-on-year to just over €14bn - €475m above expectations' Stock photo: PA
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

The tax take is running ahead of expectations by almost €500m, according to the latest Exchequer Returns figures.

As talks continue towards the formation of a Fine Gael minority government, figures from the Department of Finance for the period to the end of April show tax revenues were up 9pc year-on-year to just over €14bn - €475m above expectations.

Income tax receipts of €6.1bn included a once-off self-employed payment and met expectations. Notwithstanding the payments, the figures were consistent with a recovering labour market, employment growth and increases in the average weekly earnings.

April is a non-VAT month, with May the big one to watch.

VAT receipts in the month totalled €271m, representing a surplus of €29m or 11.9pc against target. They are up €135m year-on-year, an increase of 3.4pc but down €164m or 3.8pc behind target.

Excise duties totalled just over €2bn in the period, representing a strong year-on-year hike of €465m or 29pc.

This is down to a number of reasons, including an increase in car sales, which boosted VRT receipts, and tobacco receipts.

Corporation tax receipts were already well ahead of target, coming in 70pc over profile at €759m.

During the period, €32m was collected in Local Property Tax receipts in April, up €11m on the monthly target. This brings the total for the year to date to €247m.

Earlier this week, the European Commission upgraded Ireland's growth forecast for this year and the next. It now believes the Irish economy will grow by 4.9pc in 2016 - faster than the 4.5pc predicted just a few months ago.

In 2017, growth is expected to be 3.7pc, marginally better than the previous estimate of 3.5pc.

Once again, Ireland is forecast to be the fastest-growing economy in the eurozone.

Overall, the Commission believes the performance in the eurozone may weaken. It believes that, despite surprisingly strong growth in the first three months of the year, growth is likely to slow down slightly this year as ultra-low interest rates have yet to spur faster investment. Growth of 1.6pc is forecast this year.

Irish Independent

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