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Guide to ISAs

ISA 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 2018/19 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. ISA key facts.

    Annual allowances

    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 2018/19 tax year is £20,000, which you can invest in any combination of permitted ISAs during the same tax year.

    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.

  • ISA checklist

     

    Help to Buy: ISA (Cash ISA)

    Cash ISA

    Stocks & Shares ISA

    Innovative Finance ISA 

    Lifetime ISA (LISA)

    Junior Cash ISA/

    Junior Investment ISA

     

    Our accounts

     

    Help to Buy: ISA

    Instant Cash ISA

    Flexible Cash ISA

    Premier Flexible Cash ISA

     

    Investment ISA

    What can it be used for?

    Purchasing a first home

    All-purpose savings

    All-purpose investments

    Peer to peer loans

    Purchasing a first home and/or retirement

    For children under the age of 18

    Eligible age to open ISA

    16+

    16 or 18 depending on the account

    18+

    18+

    18 – 39

    0 – 18

    How much can be saved?

    £200 per month

    (£1,200 in month of account opening)

    Up to £20,000 per tax year (2018/19) 

    Up to £20,000 per tax year (2018/19)

    Up to £20,000 per tax year (2018/19)

    Up to £4,000 per tax year

    (up to the age of 50) from 6 April 2017

    Up to £4,260 per tax year (2018/19)

    ISA allowance for the 2018/19 tax year is £20,000

    ISA allowance for the 2018/19 tax year is £20,000

    ISA allowance for the 2018/19 tax year is £20,000

    ISA allowance for the 2018/19 tax year is £20,000

    ISA allowance for the 2018/19 tax year is £20,000

    Junior ISA allowance for 2018/19 tax year is £4,260

    Is there a government bonus?

    • 25% bonus based on overall contribution
    • Bonus paid on amounts saved between £1,600 and £12,000 up to a maximum bonus of £3,000

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    • 2017/18 tax year – 25% bonus based on annual contribution 
    • 2018/19 tax year onwards – 25% bonus based on monthly contributions
    • Bonus paid up to age 50

    N/A

    Are there restrictions?

    • First time buyers only
    • Bonus is paid upon completion
    • Can open HTB: ISA until 30 Nov 2019. After that date they won’t be available to new savers and bonus must be claimed by 1 Dec 2030 

     

    • Please see individual cash ISA product terms for eligibility and withdrawal restrictions 
    • Please see our product terms
    • Investments can fall and rise in value and you may get back less than you invest 

     

    • Depends upon each provider’s product terms

     

    • Withdrawals not for first home purchase or retirement – government fee of 25% of the amount withdrawn will be deducted at the time withdrawal is made
    • A withdrawal for first home purchase can only be made after LISA has been open for 12 months

     

    • No withdrawals are allowed. Money cannot be taken out until the child reaches 18
    • At 18, the funds are given directly to the child or the account becomes an ‘adult’ ISA

     

    Can customers save in more than one ISA?

    If you subscribe to a Barclays HTB: ISA you can also subscribe to:

    • Investment ISA
    • Innovative Finance ISA
    • Lifetime ISA

     

    If you subscribe to a Barclays Cash ISA you can also subscribe to:

    • Investment ISA
    • Innovative Finance ISA
    • Lifetime ISA

    If you subscribe to a Barclays Investment ISA you can also subscribe to:

    • A cash ISA (incl. HTB: ISA)
    • Innovative Finance ISA
    • Lifetime ISA

    If you subscribe to a Innovative Finance ISA you can also subscribe to:

    • A cash ISA (incl. HTB: ISA)
    • Investment ISA
    • Lifetime ISA

    If you subscribe to a Lifetime ISA you can also subscribe to: 

    • A cash ISA (incl. HTB: ISA)
    • Investment ISA
    • Innovative Finance ISA

     

    Each child can have one cash Junior ISA and one stocks and shares Junior ISA at any one time.

    These can be held with different providers

  • Which ISA is right for me?

    You can choose to open and save money in a cash ISA, an investment ISA, (or an innovative finance ISA or Lifetime ISA – though we don’t offer these) – or a combination of all 4 in a single tax year.

    First-time buyers can also choose a Help to Buy: ISA, which is a cash ISA. Please note that you can only open one Help to Buy: ISA, and monthly deposit limits apply of £1,200 in the first calendar month, and up to £200 per calendar month afterwards.

    A cash ISA may suit you best if you’re simply looking for a low-risk savings option with easy access to your money. If you’re prepared to take on some risk for a potentially higher return, you might want to consider an investment ISA.

     

    Cash ISA

    Investment ISA

    Interest rate or investment return

    Variable or fixed – depending on the cash ISA you choose

    Investment returns linked to the performance of stock market investments. Variable interest rate paid on cash balances

    Opening deposit amount

    £1

    £0

    Access to your money

    Instant or flexible – depending on the cash ISA you choose

    Should be held for the medium to long term (5-10 years). Investments can usually be withdrawn at any point, but you may be charged or see the value of your investments fall

    Risk

    Low risk

    Risk of losing some or all of your money

    Charges

    No administration or management costs for Barclays cash ISAs. Our fixed-rate cash ISA allows you to make 3 withdrawals free of charge

    Monthly customer fee based on the balance of your investment portfolio (Min £4, Max £125), plus investment transaction fees. Taxes and fund manager fees may also apply. View our fees

  • Transferring your ISA

    Why transfer?

    If you have more than 1 ISA (cash, investment, innovative finance or Lifetime) and you’d like to combine them or you’d like to transfer your money into a new ISA, it’s best to use the ISA Transfer Service to move or combine your savings.

    Using the ISA Transfer Service means previous years’ savings you transfer won’t count towards your current annual allowance.

    Remember, you can transfer all or just some of your other ISA balances, and you can also transfer between cash and investment ISAs.

    Please note that a transfer-in to a Help to Buy: ISA is subject to the monthly Help to Buy: ISA limits of £1,200 in the first calendar month, and up to £200 per calendar month afterwards.

    How to transfer

    It’s easy to make a transfer to us – if you’re registered for Online Banking, simply log in to complete a transfer form giving us the account details of the other ISA(s) and we’ll do the rest.

    Alternatively, you can call us on 0345 744 5445 1 or pop into a branch to arrange an ISA transfer.

    It can take up to 15 working days for any cash ISA transfer to be completed, and a bit longer for investments. While the transfer takes place, any money in investment ISAs may not be invested in the stock market.

     

  • Withdrawing money from an ISA

    While you can only make deposits into 1 cash ISA, 1 investment ISA, (or 1 innovative finance ISA or 1 Lifetime ISA – though we don’t offer these) each tax year, you may be able to withdraw money from your current or previous year’s ISAs at any time – depending on the terms of your particular ISA.

    For all our cash ISAs (except Help to Buy: ISA and Flexible Cash ISA - Issues 1 to 9), any funds you withdraw within a tax year can be replaced during the same tax year without counting towards your annual ISA allowance. This is known as ISA flexibility.

    For example, if you pay in £10,000 to your ISA on 6 April 2018, your remaining allowance for the 2018/19 tax year will be £10,000. If you then withdrew £5,000 from this ISA on 1 June 2018, your remaining 2018/19 ISA allowance would be £15,000.

    Remember that money you’ve withdrawn needs to be paid back into the ISA in the same tax year (if you choose to do so). You won’t be able to replace the money the following tax year without it counting towards your ISA allowance. The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

    If you’d like to transfer your ISA to a new provider and where you’ve withdrawn previous years’ deposits from your ISA, any withdrawals not replaced prior to the transfer can’t be replaced with your new provider without counting towards your annual ISA allowance.

    If you’ve made withdrawals and intend to redeposit it in the same tax year, you’ll need to ensure the ISA from which you made the withdrawal remains open.

    Where you’ve withdrawn current year deposits from your ISA, your remaining current year ISA allowance will be transferred to your new provider.

    For example, if on 1 June you deposit £5,000 and on 1 July you withdraw £2,000. And you then transfer your remaining current year deposits of £3,000 to a new provider, then your remaining current year ISA allowance with your new provider would be £17,000 (based on 2018/19 ISA allowance of £20,000).

     

  • ISA FAQs

    If I open a cash ISA at the end of one tax year, what happens to the interest in the new tax year?

    The interest you earn on your money in a cash ISA remains tax free for the life of the ISA, providing all ISA conditions are met. The rate of the interest paid might change, but it will remain tax free. However, the government may change the ISA rules in the future.

    If I transfer my previous years’ deposits into a new ISA, does it count towards my current tax year ISA allowance?

    No, it doesn’t. You are free to transfer previous years’ ISA funds into a new cash or investment ISA and this won’t count towards the current year’s allowance. For example, if you have £18,000 in previous ISAs, you can transfer the balance into your new ISA and still have your £20,000 allowance for the current tax year. The interest on the combined balance will also be tax free.

    Remember to complete a transfer form, which you can do in branch, over the phone or by logging into Online Banking.

    What happens if I inherit an ISA allowance from a spouse or civil partner?

    You can inherit ISA benefits  that your spouse or civil partner had built up in any ISAs they had, if they passed away on or after 3 December 2014.

     

Cash ISA

Take advantage of tax-efficient saving and you won’t get taxed on any interest you make.

Investment ISA

Take advantage of tax-efficient investing and protect your returns from income tax, tax on dividends and Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Investments can fall as well as rise in value. You may get back less than you invest. Tax rules can change. Individual effects vary.