How does it work?
Individual savings accounts (ISAs) are used either to save cash or to invest in stocks and shares and represent a tax-efficient way of doing so. Since 2014, money can be paid into either a Cash ISA or a Stocks and shares ISA, or a combination of the two.
You can contribute up to £20,000 (2019/20) each year into an ISA. They are highly tax efficient because you are not required to pay Capital Gains tax on the growth, or any Income Tax on the dividends received or withdrawals made from this type of account.
In addition to the above, new savings opportunities have been developed in recent years as follows:
- Flexible ISAs – Accounts that offer greater flexibility, with customers able to withdraw and replace money in the same tax year (introduced in April 2016). So you if access your money early in the year, you can return it before the end of the tax year to retain the allowance.
- Help to Buy ISAs – Designed to help first-time buyers be able to purchase their first home by offering a tax break of £50 for every £200 saved, up to a maximum of £12,000.
- Junior ISAs – Family and friends can pay into a Junior ISA for a person under 18 years of age. The payment is currently capped at £4,367 each year (2019/20).
- Lifetime ISAs – Introduced in April 2017, lifetime ISAs are available to those aged between 18 and 40. They allow savers an allowance of up to £4,000 each year and benefit from a 25% government bonus.