Guide to ISAs
Allowances and rules explained
From finding the right ISA for you, to transferring your ISA and withdrawing money – read the rules and annual allowances for tax-free savings.
What’s new for ISAs?
- Save up to £20,000 in the 2017/18 tax year
- Withdraw and replace funds in the same tax year without affecting your annual ISA allowance (except Help To Buy: ISAs or Flexible Cash ISAs - Issues 1 to 9)
- Help to Buy: ISA is available if you’re saving towards your first home
- We don’t offer the Lifetime ISA at the moment but you can still read details about them
Take a look
Watch our short video about ISAs.
What is an ISA?
Tax-free savings account
An ISA is an Individual Savings Account that enables you to save or invest money without paying tax on the interest or on the investment returns you receive.
To open an ISA, you need to be a UK resident for tax purposes and aged 16 or over. For some ISAs, you may need to be 18 or over.
For each tax year, there’s a limit to the amount you can deposit into your ISA – this is your annual allowance. The allowance for the 2017/18 tax year is £20,000, which you can invest in a cash ISA, an investment ISA, an innovative finance ISA, or a combination of the 3.
Tax rules may change in the future and any benefits to you depend on your individual circumstances.
If you have a Help to Buy: ISA , which is a cash ISA, monthly limits apply – so the maximum you can save in each tax year is less than the ISA allowance. The limits are £1,200 in the first calendar month, and up to £200 per calendar month afterwards.
Tax-free interest every year
The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April. Each tax year, you can either open a new ISA or top up an existing ISA until you reach your annual allowance. You’ll then earn tax-free interest on your whole balance every year.
Which ISA is right for me?
Transferring your ISA
Withdrawing money from an ISA