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How much can you put in an ISA?

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ISAs enable you to stash away funds without the need to pay tax on your returns. But there are limits to the amount you can pay into an ISA each tax year. Find out how much you can save into an ISA with this handy guide.

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ISA allowance
You can currently save up to £20,000 into an ISA each tax year - this is called your annual ISA allowance.

What is an ISA?

ISA stands for individual savings account. It’s a type of savings or investment account that shields any interest you make from tax, which means you could get more for your money.

There are four types of ISA:

  • A cash ISA: A cash-only savings account that works like a normal savings account. You can open easy access, fixed rate or notice cash ISAs

  • A stocks and shares ISA: Also known as an investment ISA, these accounts let you hold a range of assets, including cash, bonds, shares, funds and gilts 

  • Innovative finance ISA: This type of ISA enables you to lend money to borrowers through peer-to-peer lending platforms

  • Lifetime ISA: You can use this to help you buy your first home or plan for retirement 

Compare our best cash ISAs

How much can I save into an ISA?

You can currently save up to £20,000 into an ISA each tax year (6 April to 5 April). This is called your annual ISA allowance. 

Lifetime ISAs work a little differently. With these, you can only save up to £4,000 each tax year, with the government adding a 25% bonus.

You can pay the full £20,000 into one type of ISA. Or you can split your annual allowance across different types of ISA. So you could pay £10,000 into a cash ISA, £6,000 into an investment ISA and £4,000 into a lifetime ISA, for example.

At the start of a new tax year, on 6 April, your allowance resets. You can’t carry over any remaining balance from one tax year to the next.

Compare our best lifetime ISAs

Can I pay into two ISAs in the same tax year?

Yes, you could pay into both a stocks and shares ISA and a cash ISA. Plus, as of this tax year, you can now split the allowance across multiple accounts of the same type. For example you open an easy access cash ISA and a fixed-term cash ISA.

The the exception is lifetime ISAs – you can only ever have one lifetime ISA in your name. 

Can I move my money to another ISA?

Yes, you can transfer money held in one ISA to another provider. For instance, you might want to do this because you’ve found a more competitive interest rate. But don’t be tempted to withdraw the cash and pay it into a new ISA yourself because your money will lose its tax-free status.

Instead, your new ISA provider will ask you to fill out a transfer form with your existing ISA details, and it will carry out the transfer for you. Be aware that not all providers accept transfers from other providers, so check before you apply. 

You can also transfer your savings to a different type of ISA (e.g. transfer a cash ISA to an investment ISA), or you can transfer them to the same kind of ISA.

If you want to transfer money you’ve invested in an ISA in the current tax year, you must move all of it. If you’re transferring money invested in previous years, you can either transfer all or a portion of it. 

Do ISA transfers affect my ISA allowance?

If you’re transferring funds from previous tax years, this won’t impact your current ISA allowance. But it will affect it if you transfer funds from the current tax year.


Let’s say you want to transfer £2,000 from an ISA you opened in the previous tax year, and you haven’t used any of this year’s ISA allowance. You can make your £2,000 transfer and still pay £20,000 into your new ISA.

On the other hand, if you had paid £2,000 into a cash ISA in the current tax year and wanted to transfer that money to a cash ISA with a better interest rate, you’d have £18,000 left for the current year’s ISA allowance. 

ISA flexibility

Some ISAs are called flexible ISAs. This means you can withdraw money from your ISA and pay it back within the same tax year without affecting your annual allowance. 

You can do this with cash ISAs, investment ISAs and innovative finance ISAs. But not all providers offer this flexibility, so you need to check. 

Let’s say you pay £10,000 into your cash ISA at the start of the tax year. A month later, you withdraw £5,000. 

If your ISA is flexible, you can pay this £5,000 back into your ISA within the same tax year and still add another £10,000 to reach your annual allowance of £20,000.

But if your ISA isn’t flexible, you can’t pay the £5,000 back in – you can only pay in your remaining allowance of £10,000 before the end of the tax year. That’s because you have already used up £5,000 from your annual allowance. 

What happens if I go over the ISA allowance?

Some ISA providers will stop you before you go over your ISA allowance. But if you have ISAs with multiple providers, it can be harder to keep track of what you’ve paid in where. If you realise you’ve exceeded your allowance, contact HMRC to let them know. 

If you don’t realise you’ve gone over your ISA allowance, HMRC will contact you at the end of the tax year and inform you of what steps to take.


How much can I pay into a Junior ISA?

Junior ISAs have a separate annual allowance. This is £9,000 for the 2023/24 tax year. You can pay into one junior cash ISA and one junior investment ISA during each tax year. 

Do you pay tax on ISA interest?

No, unlike standard savings and investment accounts, you don’t pay tax on the interest or returns earned in an ISA. This includes income tax, dividend tax and capital gains tax (CGT).

How many ISAs can I have?

You can have as many ISAs as you want as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Remember, you can’t pay in more than your £20,000 annual allowance in total.

Make money in the the stock market tax free with a stocks and shares ISA

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