DUBLIN (Reuters) -Ireland collected 26% more tax in the first nine months of the year than the same period in 2021 following another huge surge in corporate receipts and large increases in VAT and income tax in September, finance ministry data showed on Tuesday.
Ireland's tax take jumped to a record level last year, helping it become one of the few countries in the European Union to return quickly to a budget surplus this year after the COVID-19 pandemic required huge levels of public expenditure.
The September take widened the surplus to 6.8 billion euros on a 12-month rolling basis, up from 5.6 billion euro at the end of August.
The finance ministry expects to end the year with a surplus of 0.4% of gross national income, taking into account a number of large one-off payments due to be made in the coming weeks to ease energy costs for companies and consumers.
The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC), the country's independent fiscal watchdog, said Tuesday's figures suggest there is upside to the forecast surplus.
Corporate tax receipts, mainly paid by Ireland's large hub of multinational companies, were up 72% year-on-year at the end of September after the treasury took in twice as much in corporate tax last month than it did in September 2021.
Another strong month for income tax and VAT put receipts in the largest two tax categories up 16% and 23% year-to-date, respectively. Both are now well ahead of pre-pandemic trend levels, IFAC said, reflecting the "strong labour market, resilient consumption and higher prices."
The finance ministry in an updated forecast last week said it expects the total tax take to rise by 19% this year.
"Today's figures show that tax receipts remained robust in the third quarter. The strength in income tax, in particular, is a positive signal of the continued momentum in the labour market," Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said in a statement.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Bill Berkrot)