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Make the most of your ISA allowance

 

At a glance:

- All interest earned in an ISA is tax free

- Your Annual ISA allowance for the current 2018/19 tax year is £20,000

- You need to use this year's allowance by midnight on the 5th April 2019

- Each year you have an ISA allowance, if you don't use this year's allowance it will be lost

- Your annual allowance can be spread across different ISA types, including Cash, Stocks & Shares, Innovative Finance ISAs

- The Innovative Finance ISA was introduced by the government in April 2016

- Flexible ISAs, like the RateSetter ISA, allow you to withdraw and replace funds in your current tax year ISA without affecting that year's allowance

- ISA transfers from previous years do not affect your current tax year allowance

 

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How much can you invest in an ISA?

If you’re 18 or over, and are a UK resident, you will receive an annual ISA allowance that gives you a tax break on your savings and/or investments.

Your ISA allowance for the current 2018-19 tax year is £20,000.

You only have until the 5th April 2019 to secure this year’s ISA allowance. After the deadline your allowance refreshes, so it’s important to think carefully about how you use this allowance before the end of the tax year. You can use your ISA allowance through the three main types of ISA: Cash ISA, Stocks & Shares ISA or Innovative Finance ISA.

The good news is that you can create a balanced ISA portfolio by splitting your annual ISA allowance across some, or all, of the three main types of ISAs. Remember, you can only subscribe to one of each type of ISA in the same tax year.

From the 6th April 2019 your allowance refreshes and you can invest a further £20,000. Its advantageous to use your ISA allowance early on in the tax year so you make the most of your tax free allowance.

 

Transfer your ISA without affecting your allowance

You can transfer in any number of Cash ISAs, Stocks & Shares ISAs and other Innovative Finance ISAs to a new or existing ISA provider. Transfers from previous tax years don't affect your current annual £20,000 ISA allowance, and there is no limit on how much you can Transfer In. There is also no limit on the number of different ISAs you can transfer.

You may want to transfer your ISA/s to a different provider to either obtain a better annual rate, or to simplify your ISA portfolio by having all of your investments in one place.

 

Flexible ISAs help protect your allowance

Flexible ISAs allow you to take money out of your ISA, and return it in the same tax year without impacting that year's annual allowance. For example, if you invest your full £20,000 allowance in a RateSetter ISA you could withdraw £5,000 of this, and then replace the £5,000 in the same tax year (by the 5th April 2019) without it impacting your allowance.

Not all ISAs are flexible so make sure you check with your ISA provider before you withdraw.

 

Please note that tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

 

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