Pitfalls to avoid ahead of the 2018/19 ISA deadline

Look up to the horizon and you’ll see the end of the tax year is very close indeed. This matters for ISAs because it also represents a key date in the ISA calendar. In the rush to get your head around everything, it’s easy to fall in to some common traps. So let’s help you navigate your way around the classic ISA pitfalls and make the most of your savings.

1. Use it or lose it

With ISAs it really is a case of use it or lose it. We’re talking about your annual allowance here. Make sure you use as much of your ISA allowance as you cn before the clock ticks us in to the new tax year. You’ve got up to £20,000 you can invest tax free, as long as you do so before 6th April.

2. Dates matter

Despite the tax year dates remaining the same year in year out, somehow it always creeps up on us.

Technically, you’ve got until 23:59 on 5th April to use your allowance. However, do check with your individual provider as some may need you to open your ISA a little more in advance.

If you’ve got a Shepherds Friendly Stocks and Shares ISA then make your final deposits online through Your Account, or by giving us a call.

Related: Discover the allowances for 2019-2020

3. Do your homework

In the panic not to miss the deadline it’s easy to simply sign up for the first ISA that you see advertised. However, don’t stress, there’s still time to do this properly.

You’ll want to start by considering the differences between Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs. Cash ISAs are not dissimilar to a standard bank savings account. Stocks and Shares ISAs invest your money in a mixture of different risk options, rather than leaving it sat doing very little.

Stocks and Shares ISAs aim to provide better returns in the long-run, and may be more attractive at the moment whilst cash interest rates are so low.

4. Being in the know

If you leave your ISA ticking away nicely in the background with regular deposits then chances are that you forget about it. In many ways this is great. You’re busy saving without any hassle.

However, it does mean that it’s easy to forget that you might want to check if you can change or increase the deposits before the end of the tax year. It’s a good idea to use the time you have now, without any pressure, to take a look at your current finances.

Spend some time creating a budget and seeing if you can increase your ISA contributions to make the most of your allowance.

If you’re new to the world of ISAs, and want to make the most of your allowance before it’s too late, then find out more about our stocks and shares ISA.