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How does the annual ISA allowance work?

August 2022

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

How much money can I put into ISAs?

You can put up to £20,000 in ISAs in your name each tax year, which is a limit set by HMRC. The allowance limit resets when the new tax year starts and could change each year.

There are currently four types of adult ISA – cash, stocks and shares, innovative finance and lifetime ISAs. If you have more than one in your name, you can spread the £20,000 limit between them.

However, you can’t pay into more than one of the same type of ISA within a tax year. This means if you have two stocks and shares ISAs, for example, you couldn’t pay into both in the same tax year.

What is the annual allowance limit for lifetime ISAs?

Lifetime ISAs have their own limit of £4,000. Any money that you put into a lifetime ISA counts towards this limit, but also towards your overall ISA allowance. So, if you put the maximum of £4,000 into a lifetime ISA, you wouldn’t be able to put more than £16,000 into other types of ISAs.

Lifetime ISAs have their own set of rules, including who can open one. Take a look at our lifetime ISA page to find out more.

How much money are you allowed to pay into someone else’s ISA?

The annual allowance limit applies to the person who owns the ISA, not whoever is putting money in. That means you could put up to £20,000 in someone else’s ISA without this affecting your own limit. But that would be very generous! This would need to be a gift, you can't hold money on behalf of someone else in your ISA.

This is relevant when it comes to junior ISAs, which are under children’s names. There is a £9,000 annual allowance limit on junior ISAs, but if you have more than one child then you could pay up to £9,000 into each of their junior ISAs. You could still then put up to £20,000 into ISAs in your own name.

Annual allowance limit for each type of ISA

The table below shows the maximum amount of money you can put in each type of ISA in a tax year. Please note that there is an overall limit of £20,000 no matter how many ISAs you have in your name.

You can put up to £9,000 into a child’s junior ISA without this affecting your own £20,000 limit.

Type of ISA Annual allowance limit
Cash ISA £20,000
Stocks and shares ISA £20,000
Innovative finance ISA £20,000
Lifetime ISA £4,000
Junior ISA £9,000

ISA limits: frequently asked questions

What is a tax year and how does it affect ISAs?

Tax years run from 6 April until 5 April the following year. This tends to be the period of time that’s taken into account when working out how much tax should be paid to HMRC by businesses or individuals.

Two things happen at the start of each new tax year that affect ISAs:

  • All the allowance limits for adult and child ISAs reset. So, you can again put up to £20,000 in to adult ISAs, including up to £4,000 into a lifetime ISA. The junior ISA limit resets back to £9,000.
  • You’re again able to open any ISA (as long as you meet the criteria, for example you’re the right age), even if you already have one of the same type.

Can I put more than £20,000 in an ISA?

There is no limit to how much money can be in an ISA. The ISA allowance limit apples to how much you can pay in during each tax year. So, as long as you’ve put no more than £20,000 in during each tax year, there’s no reason you can’t have more than £20,000 in an ISA.

Can I have more than one ISA?

Yes. You can open one of each type of adult ISA every tax year, except for lifetime ISAs as you can’t have more than one Lifetime ISA in your name.

You can’t however pay into more than one of the same type of ISA in a tax year. You could put money into a cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA, for example, but you couldn’t put money into two separate stocks and shares ISAs.

No matter how many ISAs you have, you can still only put up to £20,000 into ISAs in total each tax year.

What will the ISA allowance be for 2022/23?

The new tax year will start on 6 April 2023. We already know that the annual ISA allowance limits will stay the same as they are currently.

ISA allowance limits are set by HMRC and could change the following year.

What happens if I go over the annual ISA allowance?

Most providers will stop you from going over the ISA allowance limits, but if you have ISAs with multiple providers then this is an easy mistake to make.

If you do go over the limit, the best thing to do is contact HMRC by calling their helpline on 0300 200 3312.

What are the ISA allowance rules?

  • You can’t pay in more than £20,000 in total into ISAs in your name within one tax year.
  • You can’t pay into more than one of the same type of ISA in a tax year – so you couldn’t put money in two cash ISAs, for example, if they are both in your name.
  • You can’t put more than £4,000 into a lifetime ISA in a tax year. Anything you do put into a lifetime ISA also count towards your overall ISA limit.
  • You can’t put more than £9,000 into a junior ISA in a tax year. Anything you do put in will count towards the child’s junior ISA allowance limit.
  • If someone else puts money into your ISA, this will count towards your annual allowance limit. This would need to be gift, you can't hold money on behalf of someone else in your ISA.
Junior ISA

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