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Are you saving tax efficiently? If you’ve always been a saver but never considered an Individual Savings Account (ISA) you could be losing out to the taxman.
Make your savings work harder
ISAs are tax-efficient savings plans that allow you to shelter up to £15,240 in the 2016/17 tax year from income and Capital Gains Tax. Around 13 million adult ISA accounts were contributed to in 2014/15. That’s around £79bn being saved with an average of £6,064 in each account.
There are two types of ISA: cash ISAs, and stocks and shares ISAs. You can put your money in to one cash ISA, or one stocks and shares ISA or split your investment between the two.
Tax efficiency
With a cash ISA you don’t pay tax on savings accounts interest.
For a stocks and shares ISA you don’t pay tax on any income or capital gains tax you’ve made on your investment. You can include shares in companies, unit trusts and investment funds, corporate bonds and government bonds.
More freedom
Since 6 April 2016, you can withdraw and reinvest money into your ISA without losing your ISA tax benefits as long as the repayment is made in the same tax year as the withdrawal. Please seek advice or check with your provider before making withdrawals.
A higher allowance from 2017
The Chancellor’s most recent Budget announcement confirmed an increase in the allowance to £20,000 from April 2017. This welcome move will allow people to save even more money in a tax efficient way.
The tax efficiency of ISAs is based on current rules. The current tax situation may not be maintained. The benefit of the tax treatment depends on individual circumstances.
Although there is no fixed term, you should consider stocks and shares ISAs to be a medium to long term investment of ideally five years or more.
The value of your stocks and shares ISA and any income from it may fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. You may get back less than you invest.

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