October 4, 2016 / 3:45 PM / a year ago

Ireland ahead of tax-take schedule due to strong corporate receipts

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland collected 1.5 percent more tax than expected in the first nine months of the year as continued outperformance in corporate tax receipts helped offset slower than forecast growth in some parts of the domestic economy.

The government has said it expects its year-end tax take to be 2 percent higher than forecast following a strong start to the year but the outperformance has waned each month since May when it took in 4.3 percent more tax than expected.

Corporate tax receipts from the large cluster of mainly foreign firms, which accounted for most of last year's tax surplus, were 644 million euros or 18 percent above target as of the end of September, the finance ministry said.

That was more than the total 484 million euro outperformance as income tax and VAT, the two largest tax categories, came in 0.9 percent and 2.7 percent below expectations.

Still, both categories showed strong year-on-year growth and overall, tax revenues were almost 6 percent higher than a year ago as the economic recovery continued.

Ireland had a fiscal deficit of 25 million euros over the first nine months after government spending came in 1.5 percent lower than expected. The government expects its deficit to fall below 1 percent of gross domestic product by the end of 2016.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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