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Good reasons to take out an Isa now
The end of the tax year is less than two months away, so it is more important than ever to take advantage of your annual Isa allowance this year.
You can invest £10,200 in a stocks and shares Isa, or you can put half in a cash Isa and the remaining £5,100 in stocks and shares. In the next tax year, which begins on April 6, the annual allowance will rise to £5,340 for a cash Isa and £10,680 if you want to invest in stocks and shares. So with interest rates recovering, here are eight good reasons to invest in an Isa.
- Who wants to be a millionaire: if you had invested your full allowance in the best performing funds since 2000, your portfolio would now be worth a staggering £5.06m – free of income and capital gains tax.
- Beat inflation: to beat inflation, basic rate tax payers have only 23 savings accounts to choose from, of which 21 are Isas. If you are a higher rate payer, Isas are also the savings option for beating inflation.
- Regular tax-free income: if you like to get an income from your savings and investments, your Isa can provide a regular income stream
- Shop around for better returns: if your cash Isa is paying a low rate of interest, you can transfer your allowance to another, without affecting your tax-free allowance for that year.
- Boost your over-65 personal allowance: Income from Isas is tax free for your age related allowance. This means you can reduce your taxable income by sheltering you income-bearing investments in a stocks and shares Isa.
- Keep the taxman away: money held in an Isa does not have to be disclosed to the taxman and does not have to be declared on your tax return.
- Isas and pensions: Isas provide a viable alternative to pensions, as you can access your funds at any time and income is tax-free.
- Invest what and when you want: many providers allow you to drip-feed your money into your Isa.
Paul Dixon – Chartered Financial Planner at Census Financial Planning