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Tax revenue for fiscal 2009 is estimated to have totaled around ¥38.7 trillion, surpassing the government’s estimate at the end of last year by around ¥1.8 trillion on better than expected corporate tax receipts, sources said Monday.

It would be the first time in four years that tax revenue in the general account surpasses the government’s projection. The money coming in from the corporate tax beat out projections thanks to a recent recovery in earnings, the sources said.

Still, tax revenue for the year that ended in March will remain below ¥40 trillion for the first time in 24 years and will mark the lowest level since the downfall of the asset-inflated bubble in the early 1990s.

The lowest postbubble level was recorded in fiscal 2003, when revenue totaled ¥43.3 trillion.

In late 2008, when the government was drawing up the initial budget for fiscal 2009, it estimated tax revenue for the year would be about ¥46.1 trillion.

But in late 2009, when it was crafting a second supplementary budget for the fiscal year, it cut the estimate to ¥36.8 trillion as corporate earnings deteriorated sharply in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse.

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