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Jan 2021

How much can I pay into an ISA?

How much can I pay into an ISA?

Each tax year, there's a limit set by the government to the amount you can save and invest in s: your “annual allowance”. The allowances are intended to reward savers and encourage us to invest more to support our future retirements, without creating a tax haven that can be taken advantage of by very wealthy individuals who just want to avoid paying tax.

The allowance for the current tax year is £20,000, which you can invest in any combination of permitted ISAs up to midnight on Friday 5 April 2021.

How much can I put into in which ISAs?

Up to 2014 there were restrictions on how much you could put into a cash ISA (less than half your annual allowance).

But the current government is very pro-ISA, so there are many more products and much more flexibility now.

There’s no longer a restriction on the amount you can put into a cash ISA.

You can spread your annual allowance across multiple products: a cash ISA, stocks and shares ISA, and an innovative finance ISA. But you can only open one of each type, each year. (See below for which category the different types of ISAs fall into, and any limits on how much you can pay in.)

Existing ISAs that you opened in previous years remain invested and can continue to grow. But compare the rates on them with newer products, and if necessary transfer poorly-performing savings and investments into new ISAs that offer better interest rates.

Transfers in from previous years’ ISAs don’t count as part of your ISA allowance for this year.

You can transfer your investment from a previous ISA into any kind of ISA – it doesn’t need to be the same type of ISA.

For example…

If you opened a previous investment ISA that you’re paying (say) £50 into each month, you can continue to do that, and your contributions will be subtracted from your current annual allowance. But you can’t pay into both a previous investment ISA and a current one.

Cash ISAs

A Cash ISA is simply a savings account you never pay tax on. You can open a new cash ISA each year, if you want. Useful for an amount of money you want to be secure while it’s earning a bit of money, and have easy access to, but if you don’t want it tied up for too long.

Compare cash ISAs

You may also want to consider structured deposit plans, which are a type of Cash ISA for lump-sum savings, which offer attractive returns linked to FTSE100 performance, with your capital guaranteed.

Compare Structured Deposit Plans

Cash ISA restrictions:

  • If you already have a cash ISA you opened a previous year you can open a new one this year, but only ONE cash ISA a year.
  • UNLESS the second (or third) cash ISA account you want to open in the same year is with the same provider
  • Or if a new provider comes into the market offering more favourable terms, you can transfer over the cash you’ve already paid into another cash ISA, and close the previous account.
  • Be careful to transfer ISA holdings – don’t just withdraw everything from the account and then close it: taking it out of the “ISA wrapper” means you lose the tax benefits.

Q: If I don’t use my whole allowance this year, can I add it onto next year’s allowance?

No. This is a use-it-or-lose-it allowance each year.

Stocks and Shares ISAs / Investment ISAs

These are two names for the same type of ISA. They’re not always invested in stocks and shares – your money could be invested in funds (which you by “units” of) or shares, or corporate and government bonds.

They are investments (not savings, like Cash ISAs). Your capital is at risk, and some of them are not covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), but the potential returns are much higher, which is why many people like to have a mix of low and higher-risks ISAs.

Compare Stocks and Shares ISAs

Peer to Peer / Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISAs)

These were introduced by the government in 2016 to allow people to invest in the growing “peer-to-peer” lending market, cutting out intermediaries and offer much higher rates of return, but at higher risk.

This is an investment ISA. So you can’t open one of these as well as an Investment ISA, (or “Stocks and Shares” ISA).

Compare Peer to Peer ISAs

Q: What is the ISA allowance for next year?

The individual ISA allowance for 2021-2022 stays the same as this year, at £20,000.

The allowance for Junior ISAs is £9,000 for 2021-22 the same as this year

Lifetime ISAs

These were introduced in April 2017 and have largely replaced Help to Buy ISAs – people aged 18-40 can use them to save for their first home, or for retirement.

  • The government will give you a bonus of 25% of what you pay in, up to a maximum of £4,000 a year
  • There is one of these ISAs available which is a type of cash ISA (“cash LISA”), and the rest are investment LISA’s.
  • So, again, you can only open one of each type a year.

Compare Lifetime ISAs

Investment Fund Supermarket ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Fidelity

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 4,000 investment options, including one of the widest fund ranges in the UK, plus shares, investment trusts and exchange-traded funds. There’s also expert guidance to help with your investment decisions, which includes a selection of tools and insights from Fidelity’s experts. Capital at risk. Tax and ISA rules apply.
  • Invest From: £25 through regular savings or £1,000 lump sum

Why we like it: Fidelity has lots of investment options, plus an extensive range of guidance tools to help you decide what to invest in. Their award-winning ISA is easy to start and offers great value, their a typical service fee of just 0.35%. Other ongoing charges apply. On top of that, everything is backed by Fidelity’s 50 years of investment experience.

Important: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.

Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Interactive Investor

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Access 40,000+ UK, US and international shares on 17 global exchanges. Choose from over 3,000 funds or select a ready made portfolio. Investment trusts, ETFs, Bonds & Gilts. Option to invest in 6 low cost funds selected by experts to get you started. Capital at risk. Tax & ISA rules apply
  • Invest From: £25 a month or any lump sum

Why we like it: An award-winning ISA that gives you complete control. The second largest platform in the UK with the widest choice of investment options in the market including funds, investment trusts, ETF’s and more. Strong ethical investment proposition with more than 140 investment options. Open online in less than 10 minutes. Access to expert independent ideas and analysis. Low cost fees and trading.

Important: The value of your investments can rise as well as fall. You may get back less than you invested. If you’re unsure, we recommend you ask for independent advice.

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 2,500 funds, shares, investment trusts and more to build your portfolio. UK and overseas shares. Corporate and government bonds. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Ready-made portfolios to suit your goals and attitude to risk from £1,000. Expert research to help make your decisions. Investment trusts and much more. Capital at risk.Tax & ISA rules apply
  • Invest From: £25 pm or from £100 lump sum

Why we like it: Choose your own funds or alternatively a ready made portfolio. Market-beating savings and discounts of up to 5.5%. No charge to buy and sell funds. Low, tiered annual charges for holding funds, with a maximum of just 0.45% per annum. Free fund updates and analysis from experienced research team. Invest with a financially secure, FTSE 100 company.

Important: The value of your investments can rise as well as fall. You may get back less than you invested. If you’re unsure, we recommend you ask for independent advice.

Important Risk Information:

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website aims to provide information to help you make your own informed decisions. It does not provide personal advice based on your circumstances. If you are unsure of how suitable an investment is for you, please seek personal advice.

High Income ISAs

High income ISA ideas:

ISAs Products

Cash ISAs

Fixed Rate & Instant Access ISAs:

Cash ISAs: 

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Types of Stocks and Shares ISA include: 

Stocks and Shares ISAs

Latest News

5 Considerations for Your Next Investment ISA

15th March 2021

You've decided to invest your savings into a Stocks and Shares ISA. You'll be using your tax-free ISA allowance for this year before the deadline, while also investing your money for your future. But what do you need to consider before opening an account? We've put together a list of our top five considerations for you to think about before you click "apply". 

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