Corporation tax boost for revenues

Government revenues from corporation tax, excise duties and Vat surged last month, but income tax revenues faltered as the amount of taxes collected from the self-employed unexpectedly fell short, according to the latest exchequer figures.

November is a tax-rich month as many large and small companies, as well as the self-employed, settle their tax bills, and it is also a designated a key month for the payment of Vat.

As in recent years, revenues the Government taps from corporate taxes surged, to €2.23bn in November, with the tax source taking in €181m, or 8.8%, more than was expected in the month.

And for the full 11 months, corporation tax receipts outperformed all the four main tax sources, with revenues climbing to over €7.65bn and bringing in almost €400m more than was expected for the period.

Recent Companies Registration Office figures show a number of the largest multinationals, which drive huge amounts of their European revenues through companies incorporated in Ireland, have posted large increases in earnings in 2016. That trend is likely to have extended through this year as multinationals continue to transfer billions worth of intellectual property rights into Ireland.

A handful of multinationals accounts for the lion’s share of all corporate taxes paid in the State.

Corporate tax revenues were being “sustained and beating expectations”, said Conall MacCoille, chief economist at Davy. At just over €3bn, income tax receipts took in €98m less in November than expected due to weak receipts from the self-employed. Revenue is examining the issue, the Department of Finance said.

In the early part of the year, income taxes had unexpectedly outperformed due to a divergence of USC revenues but since then had almost made up lost ground.

The issue with self-employed taxes means overall income tax revenues were running for the 11 months at €18.28bn, some €251m, or 1.4%, below expectations.

In the month, Vat took in €2bn, which was €83m or 4.3% above target, despite concerns from industry groups that cross-border shopping driven by the drop in the value of sterling would eat into Government revenues. That brought the amount collected in Vat so far this year to €13.22bn, in line with expectations.

There was no cross-border shopping effect in the figures, a Finance Department spokesman said.

At €623m, excise duties also outperformed in November, bringing in €67m, or 12%, more than expected. Excise duties have brought in €5.57bn so far this year, or 2.1% more than expected.

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