Lifetime ISAs and help to buy ISAs

By Tolley
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The following Personal Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Lifetime ISAs and help to buy ISAs
  • Giving investment advice
  • Lifetime ISAs
  • Help to buy ISAs

Help to buy individual savings accounts (help to buy ISAs) were introduced from 1 December 2015 as a tax-free cash account aimed at encouraging first-time buyers to save for a UK residential property. As well as receiving interest on the balance tax-free, the Government supplements the amount saved with a 25% bonus (up to a maximum of £3,000) when the property is purchased.

These ISAs are closed to new savers with effect from 1 December 2019, although anyone with an existing help to buy ISA can keep saving into the account until 30 November 2029. Those who accrued savings in a help to buy ISA before 6 April 2017 could transfer them to a lifetime ISA before 6 April 2018 in addition to making 2017/18 savings of up to £4,000 in the lifetime ISA.

Lifetime ISAs were introduced from 6 April 2017. Like the help to buy ISAs, the Government supplements the amount saved with a 25% bonus (limited to £1,000 per year). There are conditions as to the age of the individual and the funds can only be withdrawn without a penalty to fund a first home, on reaching 60 years old or on diagnosis of a terminal illness.

Help to buy ISAs and lifetime ISAs are discussed below. For details of general ISAs, see the Individual savings accounts guidance note. For details of junior ISAs, see the Junior ISAs guidance note.

Giving investment advice

The usual health warning applies here: you cannot give investment advice unless you are authorised to do so by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can tell your client about tax efficient investments but you must not recommend any based on his circumstances.

See the Regulated investment advice guidance note.

Lifetime ISAs

The lifetime ISA was introduced from 6 April 2017 to encourage young people to save for their

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