It’s getting to that time of year again. The old tax year ends at midnight on 5th April (that’s a Thursday by the way) and any money you plan to invest in your ISA needs to be paid in by then or else it count against next year’s allowance and any outstanding allowance for the current year will be lost. This year, along with the adult ISA deadline there is the first deadline for the Junior ISA.
The Junior ISA was introduced in November 2011 for eligible children (basically any child who does not qualify for a Child Trust Fund which the Junior ISA has replaced). If you have an eligible child therefore you can open a Junior ISA now and benefit from the 2011/12 tax free allowance of £3,600. This is on top of your adult allowance and is per eligible child.
When Do I Need to Open a Junior ISA Account?
The deadline for opening a Junior ISA account and depositing funds to take advantage of this year’s allowance is literally midnight on 5th April therefore technically you could open an account online that night, however leaving it this late is certainly not recommended!
To ensure that you don’t miss the deadline you really should act now. You will need to do your research and find the best deal for you and then complete the application. The bank may well want to see your child’s birth certificate to prove he or she qualifies. You should not assume that just because you post your application today the bank will receive it tomorrow and process it straight away. You need to allow at least 2 working days for the post and a week for processing. If there is anything wrong with the application this adds to the overall processing time.
Don’t worry if you don’t have enough cash to invest just now. There are many accounts which can be opened with as little as £1. Once it is set up then as soon as you have the money you will be able to pay it straight in.
Who Can Pay in to a Junior ISA for my child?
It is not just parents who can pay money in to a Junior ISA. The whole family or even friends of the family can get involved so if parents will not be saving up to the £3,600 limit then any money given to the child by grandparents, uncles, aunts, godparents etc should be invested too.
How Many Junior ISAs Can I Open for my child?
Any parent can open one Junior ISA per child (but if one parent opens an ISA the other cannot open another for the same child). Unlike adults, who can open a new ISA each year, a child can only have one Junior ISA at a time.
You can compare the best junior ISAs here in our tables with the main features of each Child ISA