Family Cash:
Financial information for UK families

Familycash provides advice on tax credits, benefits, saving money, obtaining bargains and discounts, investing for your children and accessing cheap education

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

You can open an ISA if you live in the UK and want to invest some money and not pay tax on the interest you earn
What are Individual Savings Accounts?

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) were introduced in 1999 and provide the opportunity for you to invest a sum of money tax free. There are two types of ISA: cash ISAs that are suitable for short-term investment because you can get at your cash easily, and stocks and shares ISAs that are more suitable for long-term investment (savings can go up and down, and it is not guaranteed that you will make a profit on a stocks and shares ISA).

How much can I invest in an ISA?

You can save up to £15,240 each tax year and you can access your money at any time.

Who can get an ISA?

If you want to open a cash ISA you have to be aged 16 or over. If you want to open a stocks and shares ISA you have to be aged 18 or over. You will need to be resident in the UK and ordinarily resident in the UK for tax purposes.

Can I open an ISA for my child?

Children aged 15 and under cannot have an ISA. However, they might qualify for a Junior ISA. If your child is aged 16 or 17 they can have a cash ISA and invest up to £15,240 in each tax year.

How do I open an ISA?

ISAs are provided by banks, building societies, friendly societies, unit and investment trust companies and even some supermarkets. You can visit a financial adviser to seek advice about the most appropriate ISA or you can use one of the many comparison websites to find the best ISA deals. Three examples include Money Supermarket, Money Wise , and Money.co.uk, although there are many more comparison sites available.

Where can I find more information about Individual Savings Accounts?

HM Revenue and Customs produces a useful guide to ISAs.You may also be interested in finding out more about Junior ISAs.