What are the limits?
You can contribute up to £20,000 to an ISA in the current tax year (for UK tax residents) and you can transfer unlimited amounts from other ISA accounts regardless of your country of residence. There is no lifetime limit to the amount you can build up in an ISA.
A Stocks & Shares ISA account allows you to invest in a wide range of investments including:
There are no restrictions on how much and when you can withdraw the money from your ISA, and withdrawals are usually free from UK taxes.
Speak to one of our ISA investment advisers today.
ISA facts when you live outside the UK
It is worth noting the following when you have become an expat:
If you are a non-UK resident you are not allowed to open a new account, you CAN however retain existing holdings and also transfer to a different provider if you feel it is more suited to your needs.
- You CAN transfer ISAs as often as you like. Transfers don’t technically count as paying in, so if you have a better rate or investment option elsewhere you can make a transfer whenever you wish (provided you only pay into one active ISA per year and you’re not locked into a fixed account).
- You CAN transfer the current year’s ISA subscriptions and/or all or part of the previous year’s subscriptions to the new account. Transfers aren’t governed by the usual paying-in limit so you can transfer as much as you like.
- Don’t just withdraw the money, close the account and reinvest in another ISA – transferring is key.
- Withdrawing rather than transferring will mean you lose the tax-free advantages of that savings pot, and if you have several years’ worth of ISA savings in cash, you can’t automatically put it all into a new ISA, unless you transfer the account itself.
More about ISAs
- You can only subscribe to an ISA if you are a resident or an ordinary resident in Britain for tax purposes.
- So, if you’re an expatriate and you’ve moved to live and work overseas and are now tax resident elsewhere, you cannot apply for a new ISA.
- If you already have ISAs in place you can keep them going, but you can’t contribute any more to them.
- Fortunately, you will still be entitled to the tax benefits on your investments held in the ISA at the current time, as an expat it is important to ensure you are obtaining the best returns possible.
- If you’re an expat and you want to benefit from almost exactly the same tax-proof jacket effects that an ISA can offer you, there are alternative options that are equally tax effective. A financial adviser will help to assess your status and eligibility for certain products.
- You need to take tax and financial advice from a professional financial adviser – but in theory, it is possible to find products and policies offshore that will give you similar tax benefits to those you lose when you are no longer eligible for an ISA.
- Whilst you are abroad you can keep your ISA open and continue to receive UK tax relief on any money and investments held in it.
- You can also transfer it to another provider if you feel the need to.
- As and when you return to the UK, and reclaim your UK residence, you can begin to pay into your ISA again, as long as you take into account the annual ISA allowance.
Do You Have Existing ISA Investments in the UK?
Find out how to optimise your ISA for growth performance, cost & tax efficiency whilst you are living abroad.
- If you are invested in a Cash ISA, you are currently losing money due to inflation.
- Converting a Cash ISA into a Stocks & Shares ISA could make sense for you. Find out how & why by speaking with one of our investment specialists.
Need some help?
- Need some help choosing your investments in an existing ISA Account? Have a look at our ready-made portfolios to help get you started with investing.
- Make sure your ISAs are still tax-efficient investments
We always recommend that you seek professional advice before making any decisions regarding your finances and investments.