Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Junior ISAs

It’s never too early to start thinking about saving for the future. A Junior Individual Savings Account or ‘JISA’ gives children the opportunity to start saving early – via cash, stocks and shares, or a combination of the two – within a tax-free wrapper. The maximum amount that may be paid into a JISA in the 2017/18 tax year is £4,128. This can be invested into a cash JISA or a stocks and shares JISA, or may be allocated between the two.

In order to qualify for a JISA, the child has to live in the UK and be aged under 18. A child can hold either type of JISA or can mix and match between the two. JISAs may be switched from cash to stocks and shares, and back again. However, the child can only have one cash JISA and one stocks and shares JISA during their childhood, although those two components can be held with different providers. The JISA savings belong to the child, who can take control of the JISA once they are 16 but – with a few very limited exceptions – cannot withdraw the money until they are 18.

According to HMRC, £921m was subscribed to JISAs in 2015/16. Until relatively recently, children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 were previously only eligible for a Child Trust Fund (CTF). However, following changes introduced in April 2015, CTF savings can be transferred into a JISA instead.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on

Monday, 26 June 2017

Planning for Inheritance

For the 2017/2018 tax year, the threshold at which you begin to pay inheritance tax (IHT) starts at £325,000 (£650,000 for married couples and civil partners), with an additional “main residence nil-rate band” (MRNRB) of £100,000 per person. However, a little planning can help you to access various annual allowances and exemptions. Regular gifts can be made from income without liability; small gifts can be made annually to children and for weddings and larger sums can become exempt if the donor survives seven years. Alternatively, you can organise funding for beneficiaries to pay the IHT bill via an insurance policy. 

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on

Monday, 19 June 2017

Q: What if I open two ISAs in the same tax year?

A: Unfortunately HM Revenue & Customs makes no allowance for human error – a second ISA opened during the same tax year as an earlier application will become fully taxable. You cannot nominate the second ISA as your preferred account for the year under any circumstances. This is particularly relevant for regular savers, as the first payment after 6 April automatically opens a new ISA for the new tax year. If you wish to stop and/or move your investment before the new tax year starts, ensure you provide instructions well in advance or you might find yourself stuck for another year.