Tax take in April was €27m (1.1%) below expectations, according to the Department of Finance, as income tax and VAT came in behind target.

Exchequer returns for the first four months of the year combined were still well ahead of budget expectations, however, with a €518m (4.2%) excess against profile.

During April just over €1.5 billion was collected in income tax - €83m (5.2%) less than expected. VAT take was €233m – which was €67m (22.2%) lower than anticipated.

Corporation tax take stood at €73m – well ahead of the expected €13m deficit, possibly due to refunds for over-payments.

Meanwhile excise duties were €14m higher than targeted at €443m, with stamp duties up €6m on expectations at €57m.

The figures bring to €12.86bn the total taken in by the State in the first four months of the year – compared to an expected €12.34bn and a figure of €11.56bn in the same period of 2014.

Income tax take – which includes the universal social charge - in the first four months of the year was €53m ahead of target at €5.75bn.

Corporation tax was more than double what has been expected at €629m, while stamp duties are 27.3% ahead of target at €293m.

Excise duties were €1.62bn; ahead of profile by €41m, while customs accounted for €104m – which was €24m ahead of target.

In the year to April more than €264m had been received for the local property tax – which was €14m below department expectations.

VAT is also behind profile in the year to date, with a €43m shortfall at €4.03bn.

On the expenditure side, overall net voted expenditure in the first four months of the year was 1.6% below expectations at €13.72bn – though this was 0.5% higher when compared to the same period of last year.

Net voted capital expenditure stood at €672m in the same period – which was €26m below target but €130m higher year-on-year.

Non-voted capital expenditure was significantly lower year-on-year at €1.2bn due to a reduction in short-term loans to the Social Insurance Fund and because Ireland made a payment to the European Stability Mechanism during the same period of last year.