Still time to top up your ISA
Now that the infamous 31 January deadline has passed it is time to start thinking about the current tax year and maximise any available tax reliefs by 5 April 2018. The ISA limit currently allows for taxpayers to invest up to £20,000 per year.
Whilst the amount invested in an ISA does not benefit from tax relief the income and gains are free from most taxes including Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax. Eligible holdings include cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs and finance ISAs. Account holders may make withdrawals at any time without the loss of tax relief. The £20,000 limit can be used in one account or split across some or all the available options.
It is also possible for qualifying taxpayers to invest up to £4,000 of the £20,000 ISA limit in a Lifetime ISA. The Lifetime ISA is designed to help those aged between 18 and 40 to save for a new home or for their retirement. Under the scheme, the government provides a 25% bonus on yearly savings of up to £4,000 and once you start saving before you are 40, you can continue using the scheme until you turn 50. The money invested in a Lifetime ISA can be used for other purposes but will be subject to a 25% withdrawal charge.
There are also Junior ISAs available for under 18’s which were introduced to encourage children to save money. The returns from Junior ISAs are also tax-free and are usually locked until the child reaches 18. The annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs is currently £4,128 and will increase to £4,260 in 2018-19. The ISA limit will remain at £20,000 for the next tax year.