Tuesday 24 October 2017

Tax-take slightly higher than expectations, new Exchequer Returns figures show

Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

The tax-take in the period to end-April 2016 was just over €14bn, slightly higher than expectations new figures from the Department of Finance show.

As talks continue towards the formation of a Fine Gael minority government, Exchequer Returns figures show tax revenues were up 9pc year-on-year and €475m above profile.

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 against profile. 

Excise duties totalled just over €2bn in the period, representing a strong year-on-year hike of €465 million 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 came in at €759m, which was up €131m while stamp were also up, although April is not a big month for these receipts.

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 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 across the bloc is likely to slow down slightly this year as ultra-low interest rates have yet to spur faster investment.

Officials in Brussels are forecasting growth of 1.6pc this year, down from the 1.7pc last year.


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