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Junior ISAs (or JISAs) were launched in November 2011 as a tax-free method of saving or investing for children. It replaced the Child Trust Fund (CTF) scheme for newborn children, and allows older children a tax-free way to save.
Children are eligible for a Junior ISA if they are under the age of 18 and do not already hold a Child Trust Fund (your child will hold a CTF if they were born between 1 September 2002 and 1 January 2011). Unfortunately Child Trust Funds cannot be transferred to Junior ISAs, although you can continue to contribute to your child’s CTF, as well as transferring to a more competitive CTF if the interest rate is not as attractive as it once was.
In the 2013-14 tax year (which runs from 6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014) you can save or invest up to £3,720 in a Junior ISA.
You can save for your child either in a cash (savings account) JISA, a stocks and shares JISA, or a combination of the two. For example:
Stocks and shares Junior ISAs can fall as well as rise in value. Make sure you fully understand and accept the risks you are taking before entering into any arrangement.
16 and 17-year-olds currently get two ISA allowances. In the 2013-14 tax year they have a Junior ISA allowance of £3,720 and a cash ISA allowance of £5,760 too!
Cash Junior ISAs come in the same varieties as normal children’s savings accounts. With most children not paying tax on savings interest they receive, what’s the advantage of putting money in a Junior ISA?