Individual Savings Accounts are savings vehicles which benefit from favourable tax treatment. UK residents can invest up to £20,000 this tax year, with no further liability to income or capital gains tax. You receive this allowance each year but if you don’t use it then you lose it for that year. You can invest your allowance in cash or in a stocks and shares ISA or a combination of the two.
Of course, the benefits of ISAs may be subject to change in the future, but the government has indicated its recognition of the importance of ISAs in helping investors achieve long term financial security. This years' allowance has increased to £20,000 which in these taxing times is certainly one piece of good news. That is why it is so important to make full use of your allowance and find an investment solution that gives you the opportunity to help ensure the tax advantages of your ISA are maximised.
UTs/OEICS are pooled risk funds and are often referred to as “collectives”. In essence they are a “fund” which allows you to invest in a multitude of investment styles such as stocks and shares, corporate bonds or gilts as well as property. A fund manager is in charge of how the fund is made up and it is that person who determines the mix of the fund. By “pooling” together various investments the risk to the individual is reduced as the risk is spread over many stocks and shares as well as other style of investments.
Unit Trusts are suitable investments for the “stocks and shares” component of the ISA with all the tax advantages as explained above.
An investment bond is designed to invest a single lump sum into a wide range of different funds and aims to increase the value of your money or provide you with an income. Investment Bonds aim to maximise growth prospects, spread risk, let you switch between funds easily and potentially reduce your liability to Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax.
Investment Bonds can be very useful tools in planning for Inheritance Tax or Long Term Care.
Structured products are a collective term for both Structured Investment Products and Structured Deposits. The Investment version involves you lending money to a bank whereas the Deposit version means your money is actually Deposited with the bank and is therefore deemed to be a less riskier product.
The returns on the products are usually based on the performance of the FTSE100 index although there are other indices they can be linked to. At outset it is agreed that if the FTSE, for example, is higher at the end of the term then a set percentage will be paid out on top of your capital. Please note that with the Investment version then your Capital is at risk and we would advise you to speak with one of our advisers before entering into any Structured Product.
For some, investing offshore is advantageous for tax purposes. Examples are listed below but ultimately it means your investment will benefit from gross roll up with no tax deducted.
For individuals who can expect their marginal rate of tax to fall (perhaps in anticipation of retirement or becoming non-resident in the UK)
There can be tax to pay on returning the money to the UK so please speak with one of our advisers for further information.