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State records €204m tax surplus despite sluggish retail trade

Tax receipts to the end of August were ahead of target, according to Exchequer returns published this afternoon.

And Ireland’s budget deficit increased to €20.4bn because of the State’s injection of funding into ailing banks.

A total of €20.5 billion in taxes was gathered over the eight-month period, which is 1pc, or €204m, ahead of the target set in the 2011 Budget.

And in August, €1.9bn was collected, an increase of just under 7pc compared to August 2010.

Three of the four big tax streams were ahead of target by the end of August.

The exception was VAT, down because of a weak domestic consumer environment. It recorded a shortfall of 3.3pc over the first eight months, or €229m below target,

Income tax was 1.6pc, or €131m, ahead of target.

Corporation tax was stood at €67m, for the first eight months, or 4pc, above target.

And excise duties were €62m ahead of target, a 2.1 pc surplus.