Junior ISA Account
The Junior ISA (JISA) is available to any eligible child. To be eligible, the child must be:-
- under the age of 18
- born on or after the 3rd Jan 2011 or does not have a Child Trust Fund account
- resident in the UK
Like 'adult' ISAs, no tax is payable on any of the income a child receives from JISA savings and investments, no tax is payable on capital gains, and capital losses are not allowable for Capital Gains Tax purposes. The subscription allowance for the 2017/18 tax year is £4,128.
What types of JISA are there?
A child can hold two types of JISA:-
- a stocks and shares JISA
- a cash JISA.
Unlike 'adult' ISAs where the investor can open and subscribe to new ISAs in each tax year, a child can only hold up to two JISAs (no more than one of each type) throughout their childhood (although between ages 16 and 18 they can hold one of each type of JISA plus an 'adult' cash ISA). The overall subscription limit for the tax year can be divided between subscriptions to a cash JISA and a stocks and shares JISA as the registered contact directs.
Who can apply?
Only a person with parental responsibility for an eligible child (or the child themselves if they are aged between 16 and 18) can apply to open a JISA and become the registered contact. However, the account must be held in the name of the child. The registered contact will be the account contact for all statement and correspondence purposes and there can only be one registered contact at any time. The registered contact is the only person who can give instructions to the JISA manager. During the lifetime of a Junior ISA, the role of registered contact can be passed to another person who has parental responsibility.
If a child is between 16 and 18 years of age, they can become the registered contact for their account at any time, and without the consent of an existing registered contact (subject to an exception for children suffering mental disorder). Once the child account holder has assumed registered contact status, this cannot be passed to another person.
Making a subscription
The subscription year is based on tax years and runs from the 6th April to the following 5th April. Any person can subscribe to a child's JISA by way of a cash payment (cheque, debit card, direct debit or standing order). The person subscribing need not be resident in the UK, nor do they have to be related to the child. Once a subscription is made to a JISA, the cash, and any investments bought with the cash, are beneficially owned by the child and the subscriber cannot recover their subscription.
When a child reaches 16 years of age, they can apply for an 'adult' cash ISA which they can subscribe to in addition to any subscriptions made to their JISA(s). Therefore, in the tax year in which the child turns 16, they can subscribe up to the JISA limit, and from their 16th birthday they can, in addition, subscribe up to 100% of the overall 'adult' ISA limit to a cash ISA.
In addition, from the start of the tax year the child turns 18, they can:
- use their whole JISA subscription limit (even though the JISA will be held for a part-year only);
- and subscribe 100% of their overall 'adult' ISA limit to a cash ISA;
- and from their 18th birthday, invest in a stocks and shares ISA, subject to the normal 'adult' subscription limits.
Qualifying investments in the JISA
The investments that may be purchased and held in a JISA mirror the investments that can be held in an ISA. Uninvested cash held in a stocks and shares JISA is not subject to the flat rate charge of 20% on any interest. If the account holds uninvested cash at age 18 when the stocks and shares JISA becomes a stocks and shares ISA, any interest arising on the cash from that date onwards will become subject to the charge.
What happens when the child reaches 18 years old?
When the account holder turns 18, the rules specific to JISAs will fall away. The child can access the savings in the (former) JISA and can make withdrawals. Any savings in the account that are not immediately withdrawn will stay within the ISA wrapper and the same tax advantages will apply. Further subscriptions can be accepted in accordance with ISA rules, but only once additional account holder information is obtained
Withdrawals from an ISA
Investments (including cash) in a JISA may only be withdrawn in the following circumstances:
- where a terminal illness claim made on behalf of the child has been agreed,
- on closure of the JISA (see below) , or
- to meet certain provider management charges and other specific expenses.
Closure of the JISA
A JISA can only be closed:
- on the death of the child,
- on the child reaching their 18th birthday, or
- on direct instruction from HM Revenue & Customs (where the JISA is void).
Transferring a JISA
If you would like to transfer in a JISA form another JISA Manager, please download a form here, complete the necessary details and return it to us.
Transferring in a Child Trust Fund
From 6 April 2015, parents can transfer their child's Child Trust Funds (CTFs) to a Junior ISA. This change could enable children to benefit from wider investment choice, lower costs and potentially greater returns. By transferring a CTF to a Junior ISA, your child could have the opportunity to achieve better returns, pay lower charges and have a greater choice of investments.
Please note that you cannot have a Junior ISA as well as a Child Trust Fund. If you want to open a Junior ISA you must transfer the trust fund into it.
If you want to transfer a CTF to a Junior ISA, you will need to open a Junior ISA account, which you can do online, and then complete a CTF Transfer Form and return this to us.
Once we receive the form, we will contact the CTF provider to transfer the full account value to a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA. We will let you know once the transfer is complete.
If you don't know where your child's CTF is held, you can visit the HMRC website for help finding the account.