Exchequer returns €2.94bn ahead of target for year

Strong November receipts see €470m more than estimated taken in

Overall Revenue collected €41.97 billion in tax in the 11 months to November,€2.94 billion above profile. Receipts in the first 11 months were €3.82 billion or 10 per cent ahead of the same period in 2014.

Overall Revenue collected €41.97 billion in tax in the 11 months to November,€2.94 billion above profile. Receipts in the first 11 months were €3.82 billion or 10 per cent ahead of the same period in 2014.

 

Another strong set of corporate tax returns and a surge in VAT payments pushed tax receipts €470 million ahead of the official target in November, new figures show.

The exchequer data also show that the Government largely maintained expenditure within guidelines in the first 11 months of the year, with the exception of overspending on health and welfare.

Gross voted expenditure reached €48.22 billion to end of November, €64 million ahead of target.

“Overall expenditure in 14 of the 16 departments were either on or under profile, with Health €465 million over profile and Social Protection €175 million up on profile,” said the Department of Finance.

“Further expenditure pressures are expected to arise in a number of votes in December which will be accommodated through the provision of supplementary estimates.”

Estimates

Supplementary estimates to the tune of €1.5 billion were agreed by the Cabinet in the days before the October budget. The health supplementary, settled on Wednesday, is €665 million.

The new exchequer figures show that total tax returns in the first 11 months of 2015 were just below the €42.3 billion return foreseen for entire year. At the same time, the returns in November from income tax, excise and stamp duty returns came in below target.

Overall Revenue collected €41.97 billion in tax in the 11 months to November,€2.94 billion above profile. Receipts in the first 11 months were €3.82 billion or 10 per cent ahead of the same period in 2014.

The exchequer recorded a €343 million surplus at the end of November, compared with a €5.76 billion deficit in 2014 and the first such surplus since the period since 2007. Without the benefit of one-off transactions, however, the improvement in the deficit would have been €4.8 billion .

The State collected €6.36 billion in the corporation tax to end of November, up €2.18 billion on 2014 and €2.33 billion or 57.7 per cent more than forecast at the outset of the year.

“The over-performance in the year to date is broad-based and primarily relates to improved trading and some timing factors,” said the Department.

“For the month of November, corporation tax receipts amounted to €1.61 billion, which was €312 million (24 per cent ) above profile.”

Returns from VAT, which reflect consumer activity, reached €1.72 billion in November, €178 million or 11.6 per cent ahead of target. VAT receipts in the first 11 months of 2015 reached €11.76 billion, up €934 million on 2014 and €341 million above profile.

Receipts

“These strong receipts are reflective of improved consumer confidence and spending as evidenced by the performance of retail sales for the year to date,” the Department of finance said.

Income tax returns came in at €16.57 billion to end-November 2015, up €801 million on 2014 and €51 million or 03. per cent ahead of target.

The department said the November receipts were up €69 million on 2014, but “slightly below” profile. The €44 million underperformance was 1.6 per cent lower than forecast.

Excise receipts in November were €43 million or 8.6 per cent below profile and stamp duties in the month were €3 million or 3.6 per cent below profile.

Non-tax revenues to end of November reached €3 billion, up €658 million since 2014 largely on the back of €500 million in surplus income from the Central Bank.

Capital receipts reached €7.33 billion, up 43 per cent year-on-year on a like-for-like basis. “The main reasons for the increase is the transfer from the National Pension Reserve Fund to the exchequer earlier this year and the sale of the Permanent TSB contingent capital note and the receipt of proceeds from the sale of shares in PTSB.”

Interest payments on the national debt to end of November reached €6.57 billion, €637 million below profile thanks to lower funding costs on private bond markets and the early repayment of expensive IMF loans.