Important information - investment value can go up or down and you could get back less than you invest. If you're in any doubt about the suitability of a Stocks & Shares ISA, you should seek independent financial advice. The tax treatment of this product depends on your individual circumstances and may change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the product you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.
What is an AIM ISA?
AIM stands for Alternative Investment Market, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange. The AIM allows typically smaller and fast-growing companies to issue shares and raise capital to fund that growth. Investments in AIM shares are also not liable for inheritance tax, making AIM ISAs - also known as AIM IHT ISAs - attractive tax wrappers.
How does the AIM market work?
AIM shares can be more volatile than traditional investments and are often viewed as riskier than more established companies on the Main Market. That could be because of their size, nature of their business, difficulty trading shares, short track record, need for cash to fund growth, or lack of profits. However, including AIM shares in your ISA can be a way to add diversification to a balanced portfolio.
Tax advantages of AIM ISAs
Tax-free income and growth
Like any ISA investments, you will not have to pay capital gains tax on profits you make, and you will not be taxed on dividends. AIM shares are also exempt from stamp duty.
Passing on more wealth
Certain AIM shares qualify for Business Property Relief. This means that after being held for two years, the value of any qualifying AIM shares in your ISA will be excluded from your inheritance tax calculation. You must have held these shares for at least two years and still be holding them on your death for them to qualify for exemption.
The AIM market can be volatile and hard to navigate, but our award-winning financial experts can help you. We publish regular news articles on AIM shares to keep you in the know, and our Super 60 investment range features a section on AIM stocks to help you diversify your ISA portfolio.
AIM investment risks
If your ISA is your primary investment, focusing on potentially more volatile AIM shares is a risky strategy. If you are planning to leave money to your family, a stock market crash could significantly reduce the amount you are able to pass on. It can also be hard to dispose of some AIM shares. Finally, future changes to inheritance tax rules could affect your estate planning. Generally, AIM shares are best viewed as a component of a balanced portfolio.