The tax take for last year was up 7.7% compared to 2011, Exchequer figures have revealed today.
End of year figures show that €36,646,132 was generated for the Exchequer in 2012 – an increase of €2.66bn.
It means the deficit now stands at €14.89bn.
Overall tax take is €271m ahead of target for the year.
VAT and corporation tax outperformed expectations, while income tax and excise duties recorded shortfalls, but not as low as had been forecast.
The report says expenditure for 2012 is in line with targets at €44.95bn - with overspends in the Departments of Health and Social Protection offset to a large extent by savings in other areas.
"In terms of tax, its €480m better than we thought on Budget day," said Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
"And then the expenditure side came in better as well, there was €260m less spent than was anticipated on Budget day.
"So when you put it all together, there was an improvement of €740m on the Budget day position."
Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the figures show that 2012 was another year wasted on austerity.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the Government must change its economic policy to one that genuinely protects the vulnerable and gives the domestic economy a chance to recover.
“Emigration is as high as ever, youth unemployment is among the highest in the EU and we still have no deal on banking debt,” he said.
“Today’s figures show that the economy continues to flatline.
“Clearly austerity is not working and 2012 was another year wasted on this policy.
“The effects of the Budget will mean more taxes on those already shouldering the burden decreasing their ability to spend while bankers, top civil servants and politicians are still paid too much.
“The Government must the government must change its economic policy to one that genuinely protects the vulnerable and gives the domestic economy a chance to recover.”