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Irish tax revenues close year on target

Irish tax revenues close year on target

DUBLIN: Ireland’s Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, has said that tax revenues “performed robustly” in 2017, closing the year 0.2 percent ahead of target.

The final Exchequer Returns for 2017 show that EUR50.7bn (USD61.2bn) in revenue was collected, an increase of six percent (EUR2.9bn) on 2016. Revenues came in EUR116m above target.

The Finance Department said that all tax heads showed annual growth.

Cumulatively, individual income tax receipts improved by 4.4 percent year-on-year but were down by 1.2 percent on target. However, the Department stressed that the key income tax component – PAYE income tax – was exactly on target at the end of the year, recording annual growth of nine percent.

The Department said that these figures reflect “a buoyant labor market.”

Following a sluggish first half to the year, corporation tax receipts bounced back. For 2017 as a whole, receipts were 6.3 percent (EUR486m) ahead of target, and up 11.6 percent on 2016.

As late as the end of September, revenues remained below government expectations, finally hitting target at the end of October. Prior to that, the closest revenues cumulatively got to target was a differential of 0.5 percent, in June.

According to Donohoe, overall receipts are “now 60 percent above our 2010 low point.”

There was an Exchequer surplus of EUR1.9bn at the end of 2017, compared to a deficit of EUR1bn in 2016.

Turning to the year ahead, Donohoe commented: “This fiscal outturn provides a good platform to start 2018. However, we remain vigilant to the potential challenges we face, including Brexit. We will continue careful management of the public finances, including the focus on reducing our debt and continuation with competitiveness-oriented policies.”