Information and answers to frequently asked questions about ISAs and the interactive investor stocks and shares ISA.
- What is an ISA and who can have one?
- What is a Junior ISA?
- How much can I invest in an ISA?
- What are the tax benefits?
- How can I add money to my ISA?
- Can I pay money into my spouse's ISA?
- How do I check my remaining ISA subscription limit?
- Can I subscribe again after missing a tax year or do I need to re-apply?
- How can I withdraw money from my ISA?
- Is your stocks and shares ISA 'flexible'?
- What currencies can be held in an ISA?
- What happens to my ISA if I leave the UK?
What is an ISA and who can have one?
An ISA (Individual Savings Account) allows you to hold investments or cash without having to pay tax on any profit or further tax on any income. There are four types of ISAs; cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs, innovative finance ISAs and lifetime ISAs. You can open an ISA if you are a UK resident and are aged 18 or over (or 16 if you just hold cash). Junior ISAs allow you to save tax efficiently for a child.
We offer a stocks and shares ISA and a Junior stocks and shares ISA, which allow you to invest in a wide range of shares, funds and other types of investments. It is important to remember that the value of your investments and the income derived from them may go down as well as up, so you may not get back all the money that you put in.
What is a Junior ISA?
A Junior ISA allows parents, grandparents and family friends to invest in a tax efficient manner on behalf of a child. The investments within the account are free of income and capital gains tax with the recipient unable to access the money until they reach 18, at which point the child assumes full control and the Junior ISA converts into an adult ISA. For more information read our Junior ISA page.
How much can I invest in an ISA?
There is a limit to the amount you can deposit in ISAs every tax year, which runs from 6 April to midnight on 5 April. This annual allowance is set by the goverment and normally rises in line with inflation.
The current annual allowances are:
What are the tax benefits?
If you’re investing, at some point you will sell your investment – hopefully at a profit. The profit you make is known as a Capital Gain which can be subject to Capital Gains Tax. In addition to profit, you may also make money on your investment or savings through income such as interest on cash, or dividends on shares, which might be subject to tax.
If you save or invest within an ISA:
- You do not have to pay Capital Gains tax on any profit made within the ISA
- You don’t pay further tax on any income received in the ISA
- You don’t have to declare ISAs on your tax return
It’s worth noting that any losses on investments within your ISA cannot be offset against Capital Gains made outside your ISA. We are unable to give tax advice. If you require further information please seek independent tax advice from an appropriate tax professional or contact HMRC. The tax treatment of this product depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.
How can I add money to my ISA?
If you download our mobile app you can fund your account easily by clicking 'add cash' and following the instructions.
- Debit card: The easiest way to pay money into your stocks and shares ISA is by debit card. Simply log in to your account, choose cash & transfers > add cash and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Internal cash transfer: You can also fund your ISA by transferring money from your linked Trading Account*. To transfer cleared and available money log in and choose cash & transfers > withdraw/transfer cash and choose the Internal Transfer option
* To link your accounts log in, go to account > personal details & preferences > Link your Accounts (in the Account Information section) and select the accounts you wish to link. Alternatively you can call us and we will arrange this for you over the phone.
Over the phone:
We will take an internal cash transfer instruction over the phone - contact us for more information. Please note, we no longer process debit card payments over the phone.
Can I pay money into my spouse's ISA?
If you and your spouse have accounts with us and you would like to fund your spouse’s ISA with cash from any of your accounts we can do this for you.
You will need to contact us and we'll arrange an internal transfer of cash from your account to your Spouse’s account on your behalf.
If you'd prefer to send a cheque, please make it payable to Interactive Investor Services Limited and clearly state your ISA number on the back of the cheque. Send it to us at:
How do I check my remaining ISA subscription limit?
To view your ISA subscription history, log in to your account, choose cash balance from the portfolio menu and make sure your ISA is selected.
The current ISA allowance progress bar on the right hand side shows how much you have ‘Used’ and how much is ‘Remaining’.
Please also remember to take into account any subscriptions made to any cash ISAs you may hold elsewhere.
Can I subscribe again after missing a tax year or do I need to re-apply?
You don't need to re-apply but, if there is a break in tax years since your last subscription, you will need to provide some information to help us comply with the ISA Regulations.
To reactivate your ISA:
- Log in into your account
- Go to account > add an account and make sure your ISA is selected
- Choose the ISA Missed Tax Year option and confirm your date of birth and National Insurance Number.
How can I withdraw money from my ISA?
You can withdraw money from your ISA into an account that is held in your own name. If you transfer cash out of an ISA it will lose its tax efficient status and you will not be able to re-subscribe that amount up to 5th April.
Log in to your account and from the menu select cash & transfers > withdraw/transfer cash and follow the instructions on screen for a Bank Transfer.
Is your stocks and shares ISA 'flexible'?
No, our ISA is not a flexible ISA. A flexible ISA allows investors to transfer money out of their ISA and then put it back in without being penalised for using their ISA subscription allowance. With our ISA, if you take transfer money out of your ISA you will lose this amount from your total ISA subscription allowance. You can top-up your ISA, but only up to the annual ISA subscription limit.
What currencies can be held in an ISA?
Only pounds sterling (GBP) can be held in an ISA.
If you buy or sell international equities that are quoted in a different currency you will need to settle these in GBP sterling. Please be aware this will incur Foreign Exchange charges. For more information please refer to Rates & Charges.
What happens to my ISA if I leave the UK?
If you move abroad you will need to check whether you are still eligible to have an ISA. If you no longer qualify, you will be able to keep your existing ISA open but you will not be able to subscribe to it, unless you become eligible again.
For more information please see the HMRC guidelines on moving abroad