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Tax receipts last month amounted to €7.8 billion Shutterstock/Oleh11
tax receipts

Tax receipts in January up by nearly 5% on same time last year, at €7.8 billion

Finance Minister Micheal McGrath described it as a ‘solid start to the year’.

TAX RECEIPTS IN January amounted to €7.8 billion.

That’s a €0.4 billion increase on the same month last year, equating to a rise of 4.8%.

January is typically the strongest VAT month of the year as it encompasses the Christmas trading period and VAT receipts last month amounted to €3.8 billion.

That’s €0.1 billion more than this time last year, a 4% rise.

Excise duty receipts hit €0.5 billion in January, which is €69 million (15%) ahead of last year.

Elsewhere, income tax receipts of €2.9 billion were recorded last month, up €0.1 billion (2.9%) on January last year. 

Meanwhile, January is not viewed as a key month for corporation tax, and the Department of Finance said “modest receipts” of €57 million were collected, up €7 million on the same period last year.

An Exchequer surplus of €2.3 billion was also recorded in January, which is a decline of €0.6 billion when compared to the €2.8 billion figure of January 2023.

However, the Department remarked that a “more appropriate measure of the trend” is the “12-month rolling basis”, and a surplus of €0.6 billion was recorded via that measure.

The Department also noted that “increased public expenditure offset growth in tax revenue”.

The total gross voted expenditure in January meanwhile amounted to €7.5 billion, which was €1.1 billion or 16.6 per cent ahead of the same period last year.

Gross voted expenditure is spending on public services.

Finance Minister Michael McGrath said the figures represent a “solid start to the year, and is a clear and welcome demonstration of the continuing resilience of our economy”.

However, he added that it is “essential that we remain vigilant to the risks to our public finances”.

McGrath acknowledged headline tax revenue figures are “heavily reliant on volatile corporation tax revenues”.

“The first significant month for corporation tax revenue is expected to be March,” said McGrath,

“I and my officials will be closely monitoring trends in tax receipts as they develop over the coming months.”

Meanwhile, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said January saw a “significant increase in capital expenditure”.

Donohoe added: “The expenditure spend reflects Government’s continued responsive approach to cost of living challenges, including the payment of the January Bonus to 1.3 million Social Protection recipients as part of the Budget 2024 Cost of Living package.”

‘Satisfactory start’

Accounting firm Grant Thronton said the figures published today will “likely be seen as a satisfactory start to the year given ongoing uncertainty in the global economic environment”.  

A spokesperson added that there was “good news on the VAT front, with strong spending over the holiday period”.

“With interest rates likely to have peaked, there will be optimism that this level of spending and resultant VAT receipts can be maintained throughout the year,” said the Grant Thornton spokesperson.

Commenting on corporation tax receipts, the spokesperson remarked that it will be a “number of months before we know whether the stellar figures of 2023 can be matched or even exceeded this year” and that “much depends on the profitability of a small number of large multinational corporations based here”.

The spokesperson added: “Overall, a quiet start to the year but likely nothing to alarm the Department in the figures.”

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