What is an ISA?
An ISA or individual savings account is a wrapper that helps you shelter your investments from tax so that your money can grow more quickly. The government sets a maximum amount that you can invest in ISAs each year, this tax year the allowance is £20,000.
Our Stocks and shares ISA allows you to hold investments as well as cash. You’re in complete control of how and where your money is invested, and make the decisions that determine how your ISA performs. The value of investments can change, of course, so remember that you could lose money as well as make it.
What are the tax benefits of a Stocks and shares ISA?
The good news is that any investments in an ISA are free from capital gains tax and income tax. And you’ll pay no tax when you come to take money out of your ISA – letting you keep 100% of your investment gains and income. As ever, how you’re taxed depends on your circumstances, and keep in mind ISA and tax rules could change.
If you are a UK resident and you have money to invest, there is little reason not to open an ISA. You don’t even have to declare it on your tax return which makes managing your investments even easier.
The current ISA allowance is £20,000 and you can choose to use your total allowance in a Stocks and shares ISA or you can choose to split the allowance with other types of ISAs. However you must not go over your annual limit in total or pay into more than one ISA of the same type in any one tax year.
A Stocks and shares ISA is also very flexible as there are no restrictions on how much and when you can withdraw your money which makes them useful for saving for different investment goals. Although with our ISA if you want to pay any money back in this payment must be within your overall annual ISA allowance.
What can I invest in?
With our Stocks and shares ISA you get access to a market-leading range of investments, including bonds, shares from 21 markets, around 2,000 funds, investment trusts, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded commodities (ETCs). In fact, you would struggle to find such a wide range of investment options anywhere else.
Our regular investment service is a great way to build your portfolio by investing monthly. You can start from as little as £25 per month and there is a wide range of investments to choose from with online dealing costs just £1.50 for purchases.
Who can open a Stocks and shares ISA?
You must be at least 18 to open an AJ Bell Youinvest Stocks and shares ISA and you must be resident in the UK or be a Crown employee or their spouse or civil partner who is working overseas. There is no upper age limit and you can withdraw funds from your ISA when you choose.
If you are looking to invest for a child who is under 18 then a Junior ISA could be the right solution as they are a great way to save for your child’s future.
How do I pay into a Stocks and shares ISA?
It is easy to fund your Stocks and shares ISA and you can do this instantly by debit card or set up a direct debit to make regular payments.
If you do have some investments that you want to transfer into your ISA then you could use our bed and ISA service. This involves selling your investment and immediately buying it back into your ISA. You need to remember that you will pay stamp duty and dealing charges as well as losing the difference between the market buying and selling price. You could also be liable for capital gains tax on the sale, depending on your tax position.
We will also accept shares acquired through a Save as You Earn (SAYE) or Share Incentive Plan (SIP) provided you have some remaining ISA allowance, the shares are in your name and they are eligible to be held in an ISA. The transfer must be made with 90 days of the exercise of the SAYE option or release from the SIP.
You need to make sure that you don’t pay in more than your ISA allowance each tax year. The ISA allowance is currently £20,000 and you can choose to use your total allowance in a Stocks and shares ISA or you can choose to split the allowance with other types of ISAs. However you must not go over your annual limit in total or pay into more than one ISA of the same type in any one tax year.
How do I manage my ISA?
You are in control of managing your Stocks and shares ISA and our trading platform and award winning app provide you with all the tools you need. You can monitor your portfolio 24 hours a day and can place deals online or use our app. We have a wealth of research information on our site including funds and share screeners, investment videos and articles and if you have more than £4,000 in your account you can read Shares magazine online for free.
If you need help we have two UK based customer support teams in addition to web chat.
What are the charges?
Our Stocks and shares ISA has no set-up fees or charges to transfer an ISA to us. You can deal online from just £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares. See our ISA charges and rates for full details and use our calculator to estimate your charges.
How can I access my Stocks and shares ISA?
Another benefit of Stocks and shares ISAs is that they can offer greater flexibility than say a pension as you are able to withdraw your funds whenever you like.
You can set up a regular withdrawal from your ISA and choose whether you want to withdraw money monthly, quarterly, every six months or annually. You should remember with our ISA that once money has been taken out of your ISA, it cannot be paid back in if you have reached the annual ISA allowance limit for the current tax year.
What other types of ISAs are there?
There are many different types of ISAs aside from the Stocks and shares ISA these include:
For more information please read our ISA key features document and terms and conditions to help you decide if our Stocks and shares ISA is right for you. The tax rules and tax benefits of ISAs may change in the future. You may also want to watch our SIPP vs ISA video which explains the differences between the two types of accounts.