ISA Allowance Explained

The current annual ISA allowance is £20,000. But there are more rules and restrictions to know about.

Hannah Smith Published on 23 December 2020. Last updated on 20 January 2021.
ISA Allowance Explained

ISA stands for individual savings account, a place where you can save and invest without worrying about paying tax on interest, capital growth or income your money earns. Because of these tax benefits, there is a limit to how much you can pay in each year. This is known as the ISA allowance.

How much can I pay into ISAs?

The current ISA allowance is £20,000. This is the maximum you can pay into your ISAs during the 2020/21 tax year, which runs from 6 April to 5 April.

You can’t carry over any unused allowance from one tax year to the next, but you do get a new allowance with each new tax year, and you can split the allowance across different cash and investment ISAs. However, you can only put money into one cash ISA, one stocks and shares ISA, one lifetime ISA and one innovative finance ISA each tax year.

Some providers offer flexible ISAs, which allow you to withdraw money and put it back later without it affecting your ISA allowance for that year, as long as you replace the funds within the same tax year.

How much can I save into a Junior ISA?

Children have their own ISA allowance and it more than doubled from £4,368 to £9,000 in the 2020/21 tax year. Paying into a Junior ISA (JISA) on behalf of a child doesn’t affect an adult’s personal ISA allowance of £20,000.

How much can I pay into a lifetime ISA?

A lifetime ISA (LISA) is a type of ISA which allows you to save to buy your first home and/or fund your retirement. It allows you to save in cash or invest in shares, or both, and the government gives you a 25% bonus on everything you pay in.

If you’re contributing to a lifetime ISA, you can pay in a maximum allowance of £4,000 each tax year. This amount does count towards your £20,000 total ISA allowance. So if you paid the maximum £4,000 into a lifetime ISA, you would have £16,000 left to put into other types of ISAs.

Are ISA transfers included in my ISA allowance?

No, you can transfer cash or investment ISAs from previous tax years and they won’t be included in your annual £20,000 ISA allowance. The allowance limit is only for deposits made in the current tax year.

About the author:

Hannah is an award-winning journalist with a background in the trade press. She writes about finance, asset management and business for Shares, Citywire, FE Trustnet, and interactive investor. Read more

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