Individual savings account

Published: 26 Jul 2013


Written by Ray Coman


Individual savings accounts (ISAs)          2016-17 2015-16
Overall investment limit £15,240 £15,240
Junior ISA  £4,080 £4,080


Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are available to UK residents over 18. Income or gains realised from assets held in an ISA are tax free. Where an investor becomes non-resident, income and gains held in existing ISAs continue to be tax exempt however no further subscriptions can be made until the person becomes resident again.


The subscription limits for investment in a Stocks and shares ISA (which includes a number of 'qualifying investments') is reduced by any amount invested in cash. Following the 2014 Budget announcement, there is no longer any limit on the amount that can be invested in cash.


Unused ISA allowance from a previous year cannot be rolled forward to future tax years.  The ISA limit is measured by the amount of contributions made.  WIthdrawals from an ISA do not free up allowance for re-use.


A person with parental responsibility can open a Junior ISA, or a child can open an ISA in their own name from the age of 16.  Funds held in a junior ISA cannot typically be withdrawn.  Once the account holder reaches 18, a junior ISA converts to an ISA.


A husband or wife can inherit the ISA of their deceased spouse.  Therefore the ISA limit of a widow or widower will be increased by the amount their late husband or wife had invested in ISAs.  This is referred to as the Additional Permitted Subscription (APS) allowance.


The ISA limit will increase to £20,000 from 2017/18.


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