The state collected €50.7 billion in revenue last year, just slightly ahead of target.

The Department of Finance had predicted the total tax take for 2017 would be €50.6 billion. Small shortfalls in Income Tax and VAT were more than offset by Corporation Tax receipts of €8.2 billion.

The Income Tax/PAYE came in exactly on target at €13.1 billion, recording annual growth of 9%, and reflecting the growing numbers at work and some modest wage increases.

Peter Vale, tax partner with Grant Thornton said that while Corporation Tax receipts were over 11% ahead of what was already a strong performance in 2016, the firm's view was that "the corporation tax numbers are sustainable, notwithstanding the recent US tax reform package and the contribution made by large US multinationals to the corporate tax take".

"On the income tax front, while receipts are 4% ahead of last year, they continue to lag behind target despite an outperforming labour market. It's not clear why this is the case, with a suggestion that lower paid part time roles might explain the discrepancy," he said.

Overall revenue grew by 6% - or €2.8 billion - compared with 2016's figure, slightly ahead of most forecasts for economic growth for the year.

The exchequer account recorded a surplus of €1.9 billion for 2017, compared with a deficit of just over €1 billion in 2016.  The turnaround is accounted for by the sale of 28% of the state's shareholding in AIB.