The latest Exchequer figures from the Department of Finance show that total tax revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were €800m lower than expectations.
This was mainly due to forbearance measures announced by Revenue in response to the outbreak of Covid-19.
The Government reported an overall Exchequer deficit of €2.535 billion for the three months to the end of March, a massive increase of 162% on the deficit of €966m the same time last year.
The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform said today's figures give the first indication of how the Covid-19 pandemic will impact the public finances, with tax revenues set to decline steeply over the coming months.
Paschal Donohoe said that on the expenditure side, the Government has put in place significant resources to help fight this virus.
"Combined with the fall in tax revenues, these measures will result in a large fiscal deficit this year," the Minister said, adding that it is "entirely appropriate" that the Government cushions the effect of the crisis in this way.
"Thanks to appropriate budgetary policy over recent years, we meet this challenge from a position of strength - a budget surplus, cash reserves and significant progress in lowering our debt," he added.