The government earned more than it expected from income and company tax in the first three months of the financial year, helping reduce the size of its forecast deficit.
In the three months to the end of September, the deficit was $545 million - $253 million lower than predicted in the government's budget six months ago.
The government's tax take was $101 million higher than expected.
Both businesses and workers paid more tax, but income from GST was lower than forecast.
A better performance from the ACC also helped boost the government's coffers.
Other numbers also pointed to a better-than-expected result in the financial statements.
The government's net debt was lower and its net worth higher.