personal finance

Can ISA allowance be backdated? What savers need to know before April 2020

There are four main types of ISA. Cash ISAs allow individuals to put money into a savings account in which any interest gained is tax free. Stocks and shares ISAs allow people to put some or all of their money into a variety of investments. These can include shares, bonds or funds.

The tax year, which runs from April 6th to April 5th, is quickly coming to an end. It is worth reviewing if there are any additional funds that can be put into ISA accounts.

ISA allowances cannot be backdated or carried forward to the following year. So, for example, If a person has £15,000 in a cash ISA and they don’t top it up before April 5th, £5,000 in savings and potential gains will be lost.

Simply put, if you don’t use it you’ll lose it. Once the new year starts the ISA allowance will reset.

Many may not be able to utilise the entire allowance, but it is generally advisable to put in as much as possible.

Once the tax year is finished, any ISA accounts held will not be closed.

Savings held within ISAs, including any earn interest of investment returns within them, will be tax-free for as long as there is money in them.

For those who have yet to open any kind of ISA for this tax year there is still time to act.

There are many institutions which can provide individual savings accounts. These can include the more traditional options like banks and building societies, but also stock brokers and crowdfunding companies.

To be able to qualify, you must be 16 or over for a cash ISA, 18 or over for a stocks and shares or innovative finance ISA.

A lifetime ISA is for anyone between 18 and 40. For all of them, there is a requirement to be a resident of the UK.

ISAs cannot be shares or held on another behalf but Junior ISAs can be set up for children.

Either a cash or stocks and shares ISA can be set up for children with a savings limit of £4,368 for the 2019 – 2020 tax year.


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