28 Mar 2017

Only hours left to take advantage of ISA allowance

Only hours left to take advantage of ISA allowance

Just hours remain before the deadline for investing in an Individual Savings Account (ISA) in the current tax year.

You only have until midnight on Wednesday, April 5 to take advantage of your 'use it or lose it’ allowance of £15,240 for the 2016-17 tax year. There are a wide variety of ISAs available, including Cash, Stocks & Shares, Innovative Finance, Help to Buy, and Junior.

Below is a useful guide to them, as well as information on inheriting an additional ISA allowance, and the new Lifetime ISA.

Cash ISA

Anyone over 16 can put their cash savings into a Cash ISA. Accounts can be either instant access, have notice periods or have fixed terms.  You can invest up to £15,240 in your Cash ISA, or you can share this allowance between Cash, Stocks & Shares and Innovative Finance ISAs.

Stocks & Shares ISA

Anyone over 18 can put individual shares or managed funds into a Stocks & Shares ISA.  You can invest up to £15,240 in your Stocks & Shares ISA, or you can share this allowance between Cash, Stocks & Shares and Innovative Finance ISAs.

Innovative Finance ISA

This ISA is for investments in peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Zopa, Ratesetter and Funding Circle. You must be over 18 to invest.  You can put up to £15,240 in your Innovative Finance ISA, or you can share this allowance between Cash, Stocks & Shares and Innovative Finance ISAs. These are generally considered higher-risk investments and may not be considered suitable for all types of investors. You could lose some or all of your capital.

Help to Buy ISA

This ISA has been introduced to help first-time buyers over 18 get on the property ladder. You have to choose between either a Cash ISA or a Help to Buy ISA, but you can have a Help to Buy and a Stocks & Shares ISA in the same tax year. You can start your Help to Buy ISA with a lump-sum deposit of up to £1,200. You can then put in up to £200 a month. For every £200 you save, the Government will add 25% up to a maximum bonus of £3,000.

Junior ISA

Cash or investments can be wrapped in this ISA on behalf of children under 18. The Junior ISA has an annual allowance of £4,080.

ISAs and Inheritance Tax

Since April 6, 2015, spouses and registered civil partners of ISA holders who died after December 3, 2014, have been able to inherit an additional ISA allowance. The value of the inherited ISA allowance, also referred to as an ‘additional permitted subscription’ allowance, is equivalent to the value of funds that the ISA holder held in their ISAs when they died. A spouse or registered civil partner can therefore inherit allowances with a number of ISA providers, reflecting where the deceased held their ISAs. The inherited ISA allowance is in addition to the normal annual ISA allowance that savers and/or investors can continue to use.  The additional ISA allowance can be used for up to three years from the date of death, or 180 days after the completion of the administration of the estate if longer.

Lifetime ISA

This ISA will be available for those aged between 18 to 39 from April 6, 2017 (if you turn 40 on or before this date, you won’t be eligible). This account is designed to help under-40s purchase their first home or save for retirement. For every £4 you put in, the Government will add £1 (worth up to £1,000 a year) until you are 50. You can invest in either cash or stocks & shares.

*The first part of our guide to ISAs was published on March 25

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