Since the beginning of the financial crisis, there has been an increasing demand for cost-effective banking services. And one of the innovative ways this is being achieved is through ISA accounts.
ISA stands for Individual Savings Accounts, and these are special savings plans offered by banks to their customers. They enable tax-free growth on their investments up to a specific limit each year. ISAs are available for both individuals and companies who want to invest in securities such as stocks and bonds.
The different types of ISAs
There are different types of ISA, and depending on what you need it for, and you can select the right type:
The Cash ISA is the most common type of ISA currently used by consumers. The account will provide you with access to your money at any time, but if you try to remove the funds before the end of the tax year then an automatic 28% withdrawal penalty will be applied unless it can be proven that you have paid enough tax throughout the course of the year (in which case you would need to provide them with proof). This means that both interests earned and investment gains within your cash ISA can be kept completely free of tax and benefit from compound interest.
Stocks and shares ISA
This is an ISA where you can invest your money in stocks and shares and benefit from potential returns over a more extended period. But there is greater risk involved here as these are extremely volatile markets, so you want to be cautious about what you choose to invest in.
Innovative Finance ISA
This type of ISA was introduced by the government last year. They offer the best of both worlds – tax-free returns on your deposits along with greater flexibility since these types of accounts lets you borrow money too. The innovative finance market has been growing rapidly due to excessive demand for loans and mortgages, which were previously difficult to get due to stricter lending criteria.
Help to Buy ISA
This is a particular type of ISA introduced during the government’s famous ‘Help to Buy’ scheme after the 2008 crash. The idea behind this was to help first-time buyers purchase their own homes with no-interest financial loans. Saving for your first house now seems even more accessible with these types of accounts, so if you were looking for an excuse, here’s your chance.
The final type of ISA is known as a Lifetime ISA (Lisa) and allows over 25s to save up to £4,000 each year across a maximum of 4 accounts before withdrawals are taxed at the standard rate. To qualify, savers must also be under 40 years old, which means there is significant potential savings room for those looking ahead towards their future.
How to set up an ISA account,
To set up an account, you will need to fill out the appropriate application form. Ensure that you include your name, address, National Insurance number and contact details. It would help if you also decided how much money you want to invest during the year – this limit changes every year; it was £10,680 for 2017/18, but it has already changed for 2018/19 (the limit is now £ 20,000). Make sure that you don’t go over this limit, or you will be charged for it.
Once you have opened the ISA, remember to withdraw your money before the end of the tax year to get your yearly allowance back. Some investments are entirely exempt from capital gains tax (certificates, corporate bonds and certain gilts), which means that no CGT is payable when you sell them.
With all these different kinds of ISAs available, it seems like you can’t go wrong with investing in one. So choose wisely and open up an account. Whichever option you choose, an ISA account will give you access to tax-free interest on your money whenever you need it most. Beginner traders should trade on a demo account before investing real money. Try out the different trading strategies by contacting Saxo Bank who offers the lowest commission and excellent customer service.