The Exchequer could collect €20 billion in corporate taxes this year, according to a report published today by the Department of Finance.

This compares to just over €15 billion in corporation tax collected last year and would be four times the amount of corporation tax collected in 2014.

But today's report warns of a "potential fiscal hole" in the public finances.

The report says between €4-€6 billion of the corporate tax take could be "potentially at risk" because the "underlying" basis of this windfall in tax may be transitory.

It compares the dependence on corporation tax in the public finances today to that of the dependence on property related taxes during the boom, describing this as "a blind-spot for the public finances".

It says there is a "compelling case" to move some portion of the corporate tax take into a new Rainy Day Fund to pay for the costs of our ageing population.

The report also says that from now on, in key publications, the Department will publish estimates of the budgetary position net of the estimated amount of excess corporation tax.

The report notes that last year 53% of corporate tax was paid by just 10 large multinational corporations, sometimes called "superstar" firms, located here.

It warns that this is a volatile figure because one year earlier, those same top ten firms accounted for just a third of the take.

This, the report says, shows how concentrated the risk is and how much the amount of corporate tax can vary from year to year.

The report also draws attention to the unpredictable fate of many so-called "superstar" companies like Blackberry and Nokia which can make huge profits for years before their technology is overtaken by other innovative firms.

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that around €1 in every €4 of all tax collected originates from corporate tax payments - a figure which is exceptionally high in both historic and cross-country terms.

"The key message that flows from today's publication is that a reliance on volatile sources of income to fund permanent increases in public expenditure is a potential blind-spot for the public finances," Mr Donohoe said.

"In my view, there is a strong argument to treat a portion of corporation tax receipts as volatile in nature. In doing so, we can address a key risk to the public finances and thereby help ensure our country's fiscal sustainability," he added.

Mr Donohoe said he would not prejudge what the Government would decide in relation to the possible setting up of a new Rainy Day fund.

He said in the past funds had been put in place that had helped and have put to good use money that was being collected each year.

He added that his own view is that we need to build up Ireland's resilience in the time ahead but the way in which this could be done is a matter the Government will consider in the context of the budget.

Regarding doubts over whether the global tax deal brokered by the OECD will be implemented, Mr Donohoe said he believes the introduction of the pillar two proposals around a minimum rate is important for Ireland and the continued ability of the EU to be competitive and fund investment.

He said the absence of the implementation of the agreement would the situation back to "day zero".

He added that this would be far riskier for the global economy and far more challenging and difficult for the Irish economy, because of the risk of countries acting on their own.

That would lead to international tax cooperation being quickly diminished and that in turn would lead to a growth in economic and trade risks, he claimed.

- additional reporting by Will Goodbody