Exchequer returns for the first half of the year show income tax receipts were 2.3%, or €214m, below the amount expected at the start of the year.

In the month of June the income tax take showed some improvement in performance, coming in 0.8% below expectations.

Total income tax for the first six months of the year was €9.04bn, compared with a target of €9.26bn.

Compared with the same period in 2016, income tax receipts are up by 3.1%.

VAT for the first six months performed better than expected, bringing in €202m, or 3% more than expected. 

VAT brought in €6.7bn, compared with an expected €6.7bn for the January to June period. 

Compared with the same period in 2016 it is up by 11%, indicating strong spending in the economy.

Corporation tax receipts of €3.5bn were €20 million ahead of expectations. 

Compared with the same period last year, corporation tax is up by 10.7%.

However, receipts of excise duty are significantly below last year’s level. 

Compared with the first six months of 2016, Excise is down by 12%.

For the first six months of this year excise has underperformed expectations by €84m. 

The underperformance may be linked to the prolonged weakness of sterling.

The Exchequer account showed a surplus of €2.48bn in June, mainly due to the sale of 25% of AIB shares.