The ISA clock is now ticking quite loudly with less than 12 weeks to go before the end of the current tax year. And as we say goodbye to the 2016-17 fiscal year, so we will also be saying goodbye to its tax free savings allowances.
If you haven’t yet made use of yours, Crowdstacker has been taking a look at reasons why you should probably be thinking through the best available options before time runs out.
Failing to manage your money can cost dearly
A few months ago we took a snapshot look at how people manage their money, specifically asking people how often they checked the status of their investments to review if any changes were needed.
Given how busy all our lives are nowadays it was perhaps not surprising that many respondents told us they really had little time to actively manage their money even though this could potentially mean losing out because of missed opportunities (you can also check out our financial agility blog article from last year here).
Perhaps the best illustrative example of this is the fact that nearly one in five (17%) said they had not changed credit card provider for ten years or more. Despite the ready availability of 0% balance transfer offers from some providers.
And too many of us are not taking the time to do our research to ensure we are making the best financial decisions – over a quarter (28%) said they rarely use financial resources (newspapers, TV, web etc.) to keep up with latest information and advice.
In fact, overall Brits are often not particularly agile when it comes to managing money, just over a quarter (28%) rarely or never checked out the status of their pensions – despite a third of respondents identifying funding retirement as their financial biggest concern.
The Government has recently improved tax-free investing opportunities
But the 2016-17 tax year has been particularly helpful for those looking for tax-efficient savings opportunities. It has seen the introduction of the new Personal Savings Allowance, which allows some individuals to earn up to £1000 interest, tax free, on a range of investment products including P2P.
Also a couple of new ISAs were introduced, including the Lifetime ISA which is specifically aimed at savers under the age of 40 looking to save towards buying a house. And of course the Innovative Finance ISA which enables P2P investors to lend up to their annual allowance of £15,240 (increasing to £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year) without paying any tax on gains.
Crowdstacker’s IFISA is now nearly a year old and continues to go from strength to strength
Crowdstacker was one of the first to offer the new Innovative Finance ISA because we already had our full FCA authorization in place meaning we could apply for an HMRC license to offer it from the day it launched on 6th April 2016.
This means our IFISA is nearly a year old, and it continues to go from strength to strength. We have attracted an average of £1m a month of ISA money. Whilst the businesses that have been able to borrow money through it have been able to realise some exciting growth and development goals creating, amongst other advantages, jobs, housing and city centre redevelopment <<insert link to updates on all investments>>.
And best of all we will have paid out more than £250,000 in interest by the end of the current tax year, to our investors using the IFISA.
So, if you’re thinking about investing some or all of the 2016/17 ISA allowance, it’s probably best to act now to avoid a last minute rush at the start of April. And it will certainly pay to do some homework and look around for the investment opportunities and deals available to you.