What is an ISA?

Navigating the ISA maze

In this guide:

ISAs are potentially one of the first places that savers should look to put their cash when they are planning their finances, after all when the Government is giving you a tax break, you should grasp it with both hands.

However, over the years they have become increasingly complex, with many people struggling to understand the different types of ISA available, let alone work out how much they can put in which, at what stage.

This guide is designed to help you cut through the complexity and maximise the benefits of using ISAs to your advantage.

What is an ISA?

Not all ISA providers will accept transfers, so you need to make your choice carefully. But Savings Champion and The Private Office can help you navigate this minefield. 

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From this guide:

A brief history of ISAs

On April 6, 1999, ISAs were introduced by the Labour Government at the time, replacing Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) and Tax-Exempt Special Savings Accounts (TESSAs).

PEPs were the precursor to the stocks and shares ISA, whereas the TESSA was, in many ways, similar to a cash ISA. The ISA allowance at the time was £7,000 in total, of which up to £3,000 could be placed in a cash ISA.

Over the years there have been a number of changes to the ISA allowance and since 1 July 2014, the whole of the ISA allowance could be placed, if desired, in a cash ISA. While the allowances have increased and savers have been given more flexibility on what they can invest in and how the allowance is split, there have also been a number of other ISA types that have been introduced in that time.

You can now put your entire allowance (currently £20,000) in a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA, an Innovative Finance ISA, a Lifetime ISA (up to a maximum of £4,000) or split it between these four types. It is worth noting that you are not able to contribute to more than one of each type of ISA per tax year.
Innovative Finance ISAs are not suitable for all clients.

Download the full guide to read more.

Please note: The value of your investments can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed.

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