Estimates for December ranged from a gap of $35 billion to an even balance for the month, according to the Bloomberg survey of 22 economists.
Individual income tax receipts in the first three months of this fiscal year rose to $312.4 billion from $270.4 billion in the same period last year. Corporate income tax receipts rose to $62.5 billion from $55.6 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office said Jan. 8 December would show a budget deficit of $1 billion.
The CBO said that receipts in December 2012 were about $30 billion more than the receipts in the same month the year before.
“In both years, spending was affected by a shift of certain payments from January to December -- because January 1 is a holiday -- but spending this December also was affected by a shift of certain payments into November,” the CBO said.
The CBO said there was a $24 billion increase in withheld taxes last month.
“ The strong growth in withheld taxes may be attributable in part to an acceleration in the payment of some compensation from calendar year 2013 to 2012 because people were anticipating higher tax rates,” the CBO said.