Corporation tax was the only major tax head to record an increase in 2020, ending the year €945 million higher than 2019, as sectors such as pharma, ICT and financial services coped well with economic conditions. Income taxes similarly held up well, ending the year down €224 million, or 1 per cent on 2019. Although a strong start to the year (pre-Covid) is partly responsible, both PAYE and self-employed receipts significantly exceeded initial expectations. The sector specific nature of the majority of job losses combined with the progressivity of the income tax system served to protect income tax receipts in 2020. The combined year-on-year fall in VAT and excise receipts was €3,187 million, as personal consumption — particularly of services — was heavily impacted by the public health restrictions.