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How many ISAs can I have?

You can have as many ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) in your name as you like, as long as you meet the criteria for opening them. But you can only pay £20,000 into ISAs each tax year, no matter how many you split this across.

Before 6 April 2024, ISAs were a bit more complicated. You could only open one of each type of ISA each tax year, but that rule has now been removed.

Similarly, you can now pay into as many ISAs of the same type during a tax year as you choose to, now that the “one pay-in” rule has been removed.

That’s good news for people who want to take advantage of the tax-free withdrawals that ISAs offer by using them to save for several different goals. For example, having one cash ISA as a holiday fund and another as a separate emergency fund.

The problem is, the more ISAs you have, the harder it can be to keep track of how much you’ve paid in each tax year.

If you pay more than £20,000 into ISAs in a single tax year (tax year runs 6 April to 5 April the following year), you could receive a fine from HMRC. No matter how many ISAs you have, this annual allowance doesn’t change.

Let’s be honest, for most of us, this isn’t a problem. However, it’s useful to be aware of this limit particularly if you receive inheritance or another unexpected lump sum.

Can you pay into more than one ISA?

Yes. You can pay into as many ISAs as you like but you can only pay up to £20,000 in total into ISAs in your name each tax year.

In the past, you could only pay into one of each type of ISA each tax year, but that rule was removed in April 2024.

You can now pay into more than one of the same type of ISA within the same tax year, for example you could put money into two different cash ISAs held with different providers.

How do ISAs work?

An ISA is an account for saving or investing money. The big advantage that you get with an ISA is that you don’t need to pay tax when you take money out, no matter how much your original investment has grown. That’s because it doesn’t count towards your Personal Savings Allowance.

With a cash ISA, the money you pay in earns interest so you usually know roughly how much your money is going to grow over time. However, it does come with the risk of not keeping up with inflation. That’s when the cost-of-living goes up by more than the amount of interest you earn.

There are also stocks and shares ISAs, like OneFamily’s Stocks and Shares ISA, which invest your money in the stock market on your behalf. Because it’s invested, there is a chance that the value of your money can go down but there’s also technically no limit to how much it can grow.

There are also lifetime ISAs, which are designed for people saving for their first home. These are available as cash or stocks and shares, OneFamily offers a stocks and shares lifetime ISA. The government helps you to save with a lifetime ISA by topping up everything you pay in by 25%, so if you pay in £100 then it’ll add another £25. But you are limited to only saving up to £4,000 each tax year which limits the amount you can get from the government to £1,000 a year.

Lastly, there are innovative finance ISAs. These are a type of “peer-to-peer lending” where the money you pay in is invested in a business. You get your money back plus interest.

How to open an ISA

At OneFamily, we offer a stocks and shares ISA. If you’re interested in opening one, take a look at our ISA page to find out if this is the right product for you.

We also offer a lifetime ISA, which also invests in stocks and shares. You can read more about it on our Lifetime ISA page.

You may also be interested in:

Is it better to save or invest your money?

You can save money in a savings account, where it will grow with interest rates, or you can invest it in an investment fund, which buys shares in the stock market.

What to do if your stocks and shares ISA is losing value

Turbulent markets can affect the value of your stocks and shares ISA, but the worst thing you can do is panic.

How does the annual ISA allowance work?

Individual savings accounts (ISAs) allow UK residents to invest or save their money without paying tax on any money they make.

What is a “tax year” and does it affect you?

A tax year is simply the 12-month period that HMRC looks at to work out how much tax you should pay.