ISA reforms afoot from April 2024

Changes to individual savings account (ISA) rules coming into effect from 6 April 2024 will make ISAs more user friendly, most notably the move to allow multiple subscriptions of same-type ISAs in a tax year.

Multiple subscriptions

It is currently only possible to pay into just one ISA of each type in a tax year. Multiple subscriptions will mean:

  • Cash savers will be able to open new cash ISAs if better deals become available. Greater flexibility will mean some funds could go into a fixed-rate deal, with a reserve held in an easy-access cash ISA.
  • Investors will be able to spread their investments over several different providers. For example, one stocks and shares ISA might be used for longer-term investments, with another – offering low dealing costs – used where regular trades are made.

For 2024/25, the annual £20,000 ISA contribution limit will not see any change, with the £9,000 Junior ISA and £4,000 Lifetime ISA limits also frozen.

Other changes

Although details are still to be announced, the government’s intention is that in future it will be possible to hold fractional share contracts within a stocks and shares ISA. Under existing rules, at least one full share must be held, even though the shares of some US tech companies can cost hundreds.

Other changes to be introduced from April 2024 include:

  • Partial transfers between ISA providers will be possible during the tax year. For example, if £15,000 has been paid into a cash ISA since 6 April, £5,000 could be moved to a different provider. Currently, the whole £15,000 would have to be moved.
  • The minimum account-opening age for cash ISAs is to be harmonised at 18. It will therefore no longer be possible for 16- and 17-year-olds to open a cash ISA – just a Junior cash ISA where the investment limit is somewhat lower.

Any 16- and 17-year-olds without a cash ISA might want to open one while they still can ­– by 5 April 2024 at the latest.

Although not yet updated to the 2024/25 tax year, HMRC’s basic guide to ISAs can be found here.

Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

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