personal finance

ISA: How changing property exchanges and completions can impact Help to Buy bonuses


Help to Buy ISA accounts can provide a tax free bonus for purchasing a home. The savings held in a Help to Buy account will receive a bonus worth 25 percent the funds held within the account, up to a maximum of £3,000.

There is a “standard bonus application process” in place which most conveyancers will be able to follow but in some instances, an exchange and completion will occur on the same day.

If this occurs, the conveyancer will still use the standard bonus application process but the buyer will need to speak to the ISA manager (bank or building society etc.) and parties involved as soon as possible to inform them all that the bonus is to be claimed.

There is also an expedited bonus application process that a solicitor or conveyancer can follow that does not require a closing statement and where an up-to date Help to Buy ISA account statement can be used instead.

In regular set ups, the Help to Buy ISA is closed by the manager when the bonus is provided but this can also be affected by unexpected situations.

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In some instances, a purchaser may have closed their Help to Buy account in anticipation of purchasing a home only for the purchase to not go ahead.

If this occurs, they will be able to re-open their Help to Buy ISA.

To get this done, the solicitor or conveyancer involved will provide the buyer with a “purchase failure notification” document confirming that the purchase did not complete.

This document will then be needed to be brought to the ISA manager who will re-open the account.

For the current tax year, up to £20,000 can be saved into ISAs.

This can be split among the four main types of ISA, which are:

  • cash ISAs
  • stocks and shares ISAs
  • Innovative finance ISAs
  • Lifetime ISAs





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