ISAs explained

Getting your ISAs in a twist? Read more to find out how ISAs work.

What is an ISA?

  • An Individual Savings Account is an account that allows you to save and invest free from UK tax.
  • You can save in a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA, a Lifetime ISA, an innovative finance ISA or many combinations of the four, as long as you do not exceed the annual limit.
  • To apply for a cash ISA you have to be 16 or over and a resident in the UK for tax purposes. For a stocks and shares, Lifetime or innovative finance ISA you need to be 18 or over.

The ISA Allowance

  • There is an ISA allowance set by the government every tax year (6th April one year to 5th April the following year), this allowance is currently £20,000.
  • You can only contribute to one of each type of ISA in a tax year up to the annual limit, this includes ISAs held outside of Halifax. Total contributions per tax year across all four can not be above £20,000
        - Cash ISA up to £20,000 (including Help to Buy:ISA contributions of up to £200 per month)
        - Stocks and shares ISA up to £20,000
        - Innovative finance ISA up to £20,000
        - Lifetime ISA up to £4,000
    Transferring to us is simple, find out how to transfer your Cash ISA or Stocks and Shares ISA


  • Some ISAs can be flexible, allowing you to make withdrawals and then later pay back in to the account in the same tax year. This can be done without affecting your ISA allowance. This only applies to our ISA Saver Variable.


What Halifax offers:

Cash ISA

Cash ISA

A cash ISA is a savings account. With a cash ISA you do not pay tax on interest you may earn.

  • You have the option to have easy access to money and withdraw free of charge with our ISA Saver Variable, the rate offered on this account will be variable. 
  • Alternatively, you can also decide to lock your money away in an ISA Saver Fixed, in return for a potentially high fixed interest rate, but any early withdrawal will be charged.

Please remember

  • You can only put new savings into one cash ISA in the tax year. This includes existing Help to Buy: ISAs and cash ISAs held outside of Halifax.
  • You may lose money if you close a fixed cash ISA before the end of its term. You can make unlimited withdrawals from your Help to Buy: ISA but you cannot claim the Government bonus on any funds you withdraw.
View our Cash ISAs

Stocks and shares ISAs

Stocks and shares ISAs

A stocks and shares ISA allows you to hold a range of investments tax efficiently.

  • You can choose to select your own investments from our wide offering with a stocks and shares ISA and build your own portfolio.
  • You can also invest in one of our three ready-made funds with our investment ISA. These are designed to be a simple investment choice for people short on time or experience.

Please remember

  • You can only invest using one of these two options in the tax year. This does include stocks and shares ISAs held outside the Halifax.
  • Please remember that the value of an investment and the income from it can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested. Charges apply.
View our stocks and shares ISAs

Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change. If you're unsure about investing, seek independent advice.

Got more questions?

We have collated some of the most frequently asked ISA questions and answered them for you.