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Can You Have More Than One ISA?

Ryan O’Leary is a writer and former financial services professional. He writes about personal finance for Wealthsimple and his work has been featured by the New York Stock Exchange. Ryan holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business from University College Cork in Ireland.

You can indeed have more than one ISA, but you can't put new money into more than one of the same type of ISA in the same tax year. So, if you have opened a Cash ISA since 6 April, 2018, you can't open another one until 6 April, 2019.

However, transfers from previous years’ ISA funds don’t factor in. So as long as you don’t top it up further, you can still transfer funds from previous Cash ISAs into another ISA, even if you’ve already opened a Cash ISA this tax year and paid new funds into it.

Total annual contribution limits to an ISA are set by the government each year – this year it’s £20,000.

Can you have a Cash ISA and a Stocks and Shares ISA?

You can open up a Cash ISA and a Stocks & Shares ISA every tax year if you want. As before, it is very important that the total contributions to each account don’t exceed £20,000. To ensure you stay within the annual limit, you could invest £10,000 into each, or you could invest £5,000 in a Cash ISA and £15,000 in a Stocks & Shares ISA, or you can invest the whole £20,000 in a Cash ISA.

You can then choose to open new ISAs again the following year if you want, meaning you can have multiple accounts.

Make your money work harder (and smarter) by opening or transferring an ISA. At Wealthsimple, we offer personalised investment portfolios, low fees and friendly financial advice — learn more here.

Can you have more than one ISA with different banks?

You can indeed have more than one ISA with different banks. The reason for doing so is usually down to the numbers.

People tend to invest in a 12 month ISA with a financial institution that has the best rates at that time. Subsequently, if you find better rates at a different financial institution, you can open another ISA there the following year.

However, as before, if you have multiple Cash ISAs and Stocks & Shares ISAs open, you are only allowed to pay into one of them in each tax year.

Can you pay into more than one ISA?

Yes. Not only can you open and hold more than one ISA, you can also pay into multiple ISAs.

You can only invest into one Cash ISA at a time, but you can split your yearly ISA allowance of £20,000 across the different types of ISA you hold. You can divide your allowance according to any proportion you like.

This allowance remains the same no matter how many ISAs you are contributing into. So, if you pay £5,000 into a cash ISA, you’ll have another £15,000 you can invest in other types of ISA.

You can also keep your old ISA accounts along with any new ones you open. However, you won’t be able to pay into them as they will become inactive. When the new tax year starts you can choose to either keep your current ISA active, or you can make your ISA inactive and open a new one.

Can you split your ISA allowance between two providers?

If you have multiple Cash ISAs or Stocks & Shares ISAs open, you are only allowed to pay into one of them in each tax year. Therefore, if you only wanted to invest a portion of your ISA allowance via the second ISA provider, this could be problematic as it will mean you’re not able to add any new money to the original ISA in the same tax year.

An option to consider in this case is transferring your existing portfolio to the other provider, although the cost needs to be considered. Transfer fees are likely, but if the other provider offers funds, fee discounts and other appealing services, and has comparable or even cheaper fees, the benefits far outweigh the cost of transferring in the long term.

Whether you're opening your first ISA or your second ISA we reckon Wealthsimple is the best home for your investments. In just 5 minutes, you can make your money work harder for you by opening a new ISA or transferring your existing ISA to Wealthsimple. We offer personalised portfolios, low fees and friendly financial advice that you're sure to love. You can learn more about Wealthsimple ISAs here or get started here.

Last Updated January 4, 2019

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