DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland collected 5.8% or 2.5 billion euros ($ 2.9 billion) in taxes more than expected in the first nine months of the year due to ‘further increase in VAT receipts and strong corporate tax returns, the finance ministry said on Monday.
Tax revenues have proven to be more resilient than many anticipated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reopening of almost all parts of the economy from a third lockdown in recent months has seen a surge in most categories.
VAT receipts, which are collected every two months, were 13.7% above the target for September, a level similar to July, when the hospitality sector reopened. This brought the cumulative VAT total for the year to date to 7.7% above forecast.
The amount of VAT collected so far this year is also 1% higher than in the first nine months of 2019, before the pandemic struck.
Corporate tax returns, which are mostly collected from the country’s large multinational sector and more than doubled to record levels since 2014, were 14.8% or € 1 billion ahead of expectations end of September.
The most important category, income tax, was 0.8% ahead of the target.
With spending 3.2% lower than forecast, the Treasury recorded a deficit of less than 9.2 billion euros over 12 rolling months.
The government is expected to record a budget deficit this year below the 5.1% of gross domestic product it forecast in July, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said last week.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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