Individual Savings Account (ISA)
ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) are a simple account for making tax-free savings and investments. The Government introduced them in 1999 to encourage people to save for the future.
The different types of ISA
Stocks & Shares ISAs
Stocks & Shares ISAs let you invest your ISA allowance in the stock markets. They can potentially give you better returns than Cash ISAs over the long term, but as with any investments there is the risk of losing money.
Cash ISAs give you a variable or fixed rate of interest, usually over a set period of time. You are guaranteed this income but interest rates are currently at all-time lows.
Junior ISAs come with the same tax benefits as adult ISAs. You can open one for your child and invest the £9,000 Junior ISA allowance into it each year. You can also transfer Child Trust Funds into a Junior ISA.
The Lifetime ISA was introduced in April 2017. It gives you a £4,000 annual allowance (which counts towards your overall £20,000 ISA allowance) with the Government adding a 25% bonus to anything you pay in up to age 50. You can use the money to either buy your first home or to fund your retirement once you reach age 60. You can make withdrawals for other reasons, but you will pay a 25% charge on anything you take out.
The value of investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.
Investors do not pay any personal tax on income or gains, but ISAs do pay unrecoverable tax on income from stocks and shares received by the ISA managers.
Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.
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