Figures from the Irish Department of Finance show that there was an Exchequer deficit of almost €750 million in January, compared with a surplus of almost €630 million in the same month last year. Tax receipts were down almost 19 percent from January last year, at €3.73 billion. This was almost twice as much as the 10 percent reduction in total taxes for the year as a whole predicted by the Department of Finance just three weeks ago. The tax take was lower under all categories, with a 72 percent drop in stamp duties from home sales, from €180 million last January to just €50 million. Capital gains tax receipts also slumped from €129 million to €36 million. VAT receipts were down almost 16 percent on the year to €1.97 billion, but the fall in the take from income tax was smaller, down 3.5 percent to €1.16 billion. Current spending in the month was just under €4.75 billion, compared with €4.24 billion a year earlier.