Tax take so far is €545m better than targeted
The tax take for the first three months of the year is more than half a billion euro ahead of target, the latest Exchequer returns show.
The State had collected €10.47bn in tax by the end of March, €545m or 5.5pc better than expected.
All the main tax heads came in better than targeted, including income tax and VAT, confirming rising employment and strong domestic demand. It will also fuel expectations that the Government will be able to unveil a soft pre-election budget in October.
Experts said the Government target of reducing the deficit to 2.7pc of the value of the economy this year could be beaten.
"In this context, the Government is unlikely to resist intensifying calls for a giveaway budget ahead of the general election due early in 2016," said Davy Stockbrokers economist Conall Mac Coille.
Income tax was €136m better than expected at €4.2bn, while €23m more than initially thought was collected in VAT.
Stamp receipts were €57m better than targeted. Revenue from property transactions in the first three months of this year was up 50pc compared with the same period in 2014, to €75m. About 40pc of transactions were residential.
Revenue from shares rose 100pc, from €50m in the first three months of last year to €100m this year.