From 6 April 2015 to 5 April 2016 the annual amount which can be paid into an Individual Savings Account (ISA) has been £15,240. This can be in a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA or any mix of both types of ISA. Withdrawn funds cannot be replaced by paying more into an ISA unless still within the £15,240 annual allowance. For example, if during the year to 5 April 2016 £14,000 was paid into an ISA then £5,000 was withdrawn only a further £1,240 would be able to be paid into the ISA (i.e. £15,240 less £14,000).
Changes from 6 April 2016 From 6 April 2016 savers will effectively be able to re-invest withdrawals into ISAs if within the same tax year. For example, if during the year to 5 April 2017 £14,000 was paid into an ISA then £5,000 was withdrawn a further £6,240 would be able to be paid into the ISA (i.e. £15,240 less (£14,000 less £5,000)). Each tax year will be considered in isolation so for the following year to 5 April 2017 withdrawals and contributions in the previous tax year will be ignored.
Not all banks and building societies may be able to offer this additional flexibility, even though they are allowed to under the new regulations.
Help to Buy ISAs These were introduced from 1 December 2015 and are available to first-time residential property buyers. Such savers, when saving for a deposit, receive a £50 contribution from the government for every £200 the individual contributes subject to a maximum government contribution of £3,000. Savers can pay up to £200 per calendar month into a help to buy ISA except for the first month the account is opened when an extra £1,000 can be paid in making £1,200 in total for that month. These are only available to first time home buyers, so are not available to people who already own a property or have done in the past.
The government bonus is only paid when the property is purchased so will not be paid if the money is used for another purpose. It is not limited to newly built homes although the property should cost no more than £250,000 or £450,000 if buying in London.
If purchasing a property with other first time buyers, each first time buyer is entitled to this account and the government bonus. So if two first time buyers purchasing a home together, each would be entitled to a bonus of up to £3,000 making £6,000 in total.