The amount collected by the State in tax revenues for the first eight months of the year, at €32.4 billion, was 5.1% (€1.56 billion) higher than for the same period in 2017 and was €100m (0.3%) below target.

Exchequer returns for August show income tax receipts for the month were 7.2% (€108m) higher than for the same month last year, with €1.6 billion collected, however, this figure is 2.1% below target on a monthly basis.

Expenditure of €31.6 billion was 0.7%, or €229m, below profile, but was €2.4 billion, or 8.3%, higher in year-on-year terms.

Income tax revenue between January and August of this year is broadly in line with expectation, with just over €13 billion collected.

Revenue from corporation tax for the first eight months of the year is 6.8% ahead of target at €4.37 billion.

August is not a VAT-due month and receipts for the month were €92m, or 32.1%, below profile.

This was due primarily to larger than expected repayments, however, in year-on-year terms cumulative VAT receipts have grown by 3.9% and are just 0.9%, or €81m, below target.

The amount of excise duty collected between January and August is 6.7% below target at €3.48 billion.

Stamp duty receipts for the same period are up almost a third to €870m, though are 7% below what was expected.

Revenue from Capital Gains Tax is 6.3% ahead of target at €201m.

Overall for the first eight months of the year there was an Exchequer deficit of €1.8 billion, which compared to a surplus of €1.8 billion for the same period in 2017.

But when the balance is adjusted for the impact of the sale of 28.75% of the State's shareholding in AIB last year, the annual decrease is €202m.