Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

These are tax-efficient investment wrappers.

It is important to understand that the investments held within an ISA can be very different. They can range from the most speculative of shares in emerging economy stock markets, to cash in the bank.

The aim, when using ISAs, is to move your investments from a taxed environment into a more tax efficient environment and to ensure that new investment funds are invested, from the outset, in a way that minimises tax.

Investment limits

For the 2017/18 tax year, the annual investment limit for ISAs is £20,000.

Lifetime ISA

The Lifetime ISA is available to adults aged between 18 and 40 from the start of the 2017/18 tax year. 

Individuals can save up to £4,000 per year up to the age of 50. Savers are entitled to the 25% bonus of up to £1,000 from the government each year.

Funds can be withdrawn at any time before the age of 60 to purchase a first home or to save for retirement. If the funds are removed before this age for any other reason, may lead to a 25% penalty charge. 

Junior ISAs

Junior ISAs offer parents a tax-free way to save for their child's future.

The features of the Junior ISA are:

  • People are able to put money into a cash account or 'stocks and shares' account
  • Each child is able to have one cash and one 'stocks and shares' Junior ISA at any one time
  • There is a total annual limit of £4,128 for all payments into these accounts for 2017/18 
  • Accounts will become full ISAs when the child is 18
  • The accounts will belong to the child and they are not able to get the money out until they are 18
  • Any money the accounts make will be tax free
  • A range of banks, building societies, credit unions, friendly societies and stock brokers will offer Junior ISA accounts

Children who have a Child Trust Fund account are not eligible to have a Junior ISA.

ISA eligibility depends on personal circumstances. Tax rules and allowances are not guaranteed and may change in the future. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount you originally invested.