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Time to make the most of your ISA

Time to make the most of your ISA

Category: ISAs

Updated: 19/03/2014
First Published: 19/03/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

We don't want to scare you, but there's now less than three weeks to go until the end of the tax year. That means you have just a few days left to make full use of your tax-free allowance for the year – fail to take action and you'll have to start from scratch, so what are you waiting for? Find those top ISA deals pronto!

Don't lose out

Figures from Fidelity Personal Investing have revealed that only 36% of stocks and shares ISA investors have used up their full allowance for the year, with a fifth of those surveyed still planning to invest. As yet some 15% are undecided about where to invest while 18% plan to take the plunge in the last week before the April deadline, although 30% of savers don't wish to save any more into their ISA – or can't afford to.

This lack of affordability could perhaps be why 35% of people aren't planning to take out any form of ISA in 2014, according to additional research from financial services group True Potential. It's a worrying statistic, particularly when experts suggest we should have an emergency fund of at least three months' salary, not to mention the importance of saving for a comfortable future.

That's why it's even more important to make sure you don't lose out. You may not be able to use up your full ISA allowance this year – or even next year – but the chance to earn interest entirely tax-free should never be overlooked. And, if you're lucky enough to have a decent sum of money you can invest, make sure to do so before the deadline – if not you could be limited next year as your tax-free allowance will be re-set, so it's always best make the most of it while you still can.

Find the top rates

There's still time to make your money go further before the end of the tax year. The best deals will always come from accounts that ask you to lock your money away, but what if you want easy access? Well, currently the top variable rate instant access ISA comes from Stafford Railway Building Society, with its Cash ISA paying 1.75% interest, or if you're willing to give 60 days' notice you can get an impressive 1.85% from Hanley Economic, with its Cash ISA – 60 Day Notice taking the top spot in the variable sector.

What about stocks and shares?

If you've used your cash ISA allowance but still want to save, opting for a stocks and shares ISA could be ideal. Slightly higher-risk than their cash-based counterparts but still able to generate tax-free returns, it could be a great alternative – use our comparison tool to check out the best funds on offer.

And, as just announced in the Budget, there's set to be a whole new ISA on the horizon…

What Next?

Find a home for your 2013-14 cash ISA allowance

Looking for a tax-efficient investment opportunity for your 2013/14 ISA Allowance?

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.