Increasing Affordability of Housing for First Home Buyers


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United Kingdom

Investment Savings Accounts (ISAs) are available to UK residents aged 18 years and over. Investors can hold different types of investments, which are free from UK Personal Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax. ISAs can include stocks and shares, life insurance and cash.

There are two main types of ISA — the Mini and the Maxi. Investors can put up to £7,000 in a Maxi ISA or up to £3,000 in a Mini ISA. (Both limits are to be reviewed in 2006.) However, they cannot invest in both types in the same tax year. Investors cannot take out a Maxi ISA with more than one provider in each tax year.

Investors can invest in up to three separate Mini ISAs in any tax year, one for each of these investment types: cash (£3,000); shares (£3,000); Life insurance (investment products with a life insurance element, £1,000)

Alternatively, investors can choose to open one Maxi ISA in any tax year: all £7,000 in stocks and shares, or cash up to £3,000 and/or life insurance up to £1,000 with remainder in stocks & shares, taking the balance up to £7,000.

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