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Home / News / Exchequer surplus falls to €1.2 billion from €5 billion

Exchequer surplus falls to €1.2 billion from €5 billion


The Exchequer recorded a surplus of €1.2 billion in 2023, according to figures released by the Department of Finance today.

This compares with a surplus of €5 billion in 2022, with the decline driven by factors including increased public expenditure and the transfer of €4 billion to the National Reserve Fund (NRF) in February last year.

An underlying deficit of around €6.5 billion was recorded for 2023 when “one-off” factors are excluded such as transfers to the NRF, proceeds from the disposal of bank equity and estimated “excess” corporation tax receipts.

The latest Exchequer Returns show that corporation tax receipts amounted to €1.8 billion in December, up by almost 20% compared to December 2022.

Annual corporate tax receipts amounted to €23.8 billion which is €1.2 billion, or 5.3%, up on 2022.

Corporation tax has been highly volatile in recent months, coming in lower than forecast in August, September and October before seeing a strong recovery in November.

“Although it remains the State’s second largest source of revenue again this year, there has been a significant moderation in growth in this revenue stream compared to recent years,” the Department of Finance said in relation to corporation tax.

Overall, tax receipts of €88.1 billion were collected in 2023 which was an increase of €5 billion or 6% on an annual basis, driven by growth in income tax, VAT and corporation tax.

Tax receipts of €6.1 billion were collected in December, up 8.2% on the same period in 2022.

Income tax receipts of €2.6 billion were recorded in December, 4.8% ahead of December 2022.

Overall in 2023, income tax receipts amounted to €32.9 billion, which was €2.2 billion ahead of 2022, reflecting the strong labour market.

VAT receipts totalled €20.3 billion in 2023, €1.7 billion or 9.4% higher than the previous year.

Stamp Duty receipts of €1.8 billion in the year were slightly down, by €64m, when compared with 2022.

Capital Gains Tax receipts for the year stood at €1.5 billion, down by €0.2 billion on 2022.

Capital Acquisitions Tax collected in 2023 stood at €634m up slightly by €28m, on an annual basis.

Customs receipts of €582 million were down by €54m on 2022.

Capital receipts for the year amounted to €1.9 billion, down by €3.4 billion on 2022.

The Department of Finance said the decrease was primarily driven by a reduction in the repayment of the loan to the Social Insurance Fund in 2023 which is net neutral overall and also lower proceeds from the sale of bank shares.

Total expenditure for the year amounted to €107.3 billion.

Of this, gross voted expenditure stood at €94.7 billion, which was €5.9 billion or 6.7% ahead of 2022.

Non-voted expenditure accounted for €12.6 billion, €0.3 billion behind the same period in 2022.


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