Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about ISAs that may help you decide whether an ISA is right for you.

  • It's an Individual Savings Account (ISA), the tax-exempt savings plan that replaced PEPs and TESSAs.

    An ISA is not itself an investment - it's a tax-efficient account under which a wide range of investments can be made, free of Capital Gains or Income Tax. You can choose from two types of ISA – Stocks & Shares and Cash.

    Willis Owen only provides access to Stocks & Shares ISAs.

  • To open a Stocks & Shares ISA, you need to be a UK resident for tax purposes and aged 18 or over.

  • That depends on your own needs. If you are looking for long-term returns (over at least five years) and are happy to take some risk with your capital then a Stocks & Shares ISA might be for you. Take a look at our Stocks & Shares v Cash ISA page to ensure you can make an informed decision. If you are unsure then contact a suitably qualified Independent Financial Adviser.

  • The ISA allowance for tax year 2019/20 is £20,000. An ISA allows you the option to save your whole ISA allowance in cash, stocks and shares, or a combination of the two.

  • Willis Owen Limited does not offer or provide advice as to the suitability of investments.

    If you are unsure whether an investment is suitable for you or require any advice with regard to your investments you should obtain expert financial advice.

  • Each year the government usually increases the allowance at least in line with the Consumer Prices Index. This announcement is usually made around the time of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget. Other changes to the allowance may be made from time to time.

  • You are limited on how many ISAs you can subscribe to each tax year. You can only put money into one Cash ISA and/or one Stocks and Shares ISA and you must make sure you don't exceed the total maximum ISA allowance for the tax year.

  • If you realise you have over-contributed, the first step is to report it to HMRC Revenue & Customs. You can do this by calling their Savings Helpline on 0300 200 3312.

    All investments made after the limit was breached will not be eligible for tax exemption. You can withdraw the overpayment yourself, if you know which ISA breached the rules, or ask the provider to return it to you.

    Any interest or dividends earned will count towards your annual non-ISA Personal Savings Allowance and tax-free Dividend Allowance respectively. Any Capital Gains realised will be set against your annual Capital Gains Allowance. 

    Any tax due should be paid through your tax return.

  • The minimum contributions are as follows:

    • the minimum single contribution is £25
    • the minimum regular contribution is £25
  • For the UK, a tax year starts on the 6th April and ends on the 5th April the following year.

  • By applying for an ISA through : invest, you can include different investment instruments, such as Funds and/or Shares, within your ISA. 

  • Yes, and vice versa. If you wish to request a transfer into : invest, you can simply initiate this online and download the transfer form within the my documents area. Complete and return this form and we will contact the provider of your existing ISA to arrange the transfer.

    The Willis Owen ISA is a flexible ISA which means you will be able to withdraw and contribute back into the ISA within the same tax year without losing your ISA allowance. Please note this may not apply with your Cash ISA.

  • Yes, our online system allows you to determine which of your investments you wish to receive income from and which you would like reinvested for growth.

    Simply choose the day you want your income to be paid directly to your nominated bank account. You can change your preference in "my reinvestment options" within  : invest. Please note that payments can only be made to a verified UK registered bank account.

  • The charges you pay can be categorised into ‘account charges’ and ‘investment charges’. As part of your annual statement we’ll send you a detailed breakdown of the charges you’ve paid, broken down into these categories. For an FAQ on charges relating to the Aegon platform, click here.

    Account charges

    These are the charges you pay to Willis Owen for the services we provide to you, along with certain taxes you pay. This includes (amongst other things) the costs of:

    • administering your ISA, JISA, GIA or SIPP,
    • running and maintaining the Willis Owen :invest platform,
    • arranging to buy or sell investments on your behalf,
    • our independent investment research and insights, along with our ISA Guide,
    • providing you access to independent analysis from our expert research partner Morningstar, and
    • our dedicated customer support services.

    These costs are collected from you in the form of our simple ‘service fee’ which is type of ongoing account charge. If you buy or sell shares (excluding Exchange Traded Funds) or investment trusts you may also pay dealing charges, Stamp Duty and a PTM levy (which are collectively referred to as ‘transactional costs’ in your annual statement).

    Details of all of our ongoing and transactional account charges can be found within the products & services area of our website.

    Investment charges

    These are the charges which relate directly to the investments you buy. They are taken by the fund managers either from the capital or the income generated by the funds you invest in, and are not charged by, or paid to Willis Owen.

    • the services of an expert fund manager (including any performance fees),
    • administration, legal, audit and registration fees incurred by the fund,
    • custodianship costs associated with keeping your investments safe,
    • commissions paid to brokers,
    • producing reports,
    • dealing costs and taxes, such as Stamp Duty incurred by a fund when buying and selling investments.

    Investment charges can be ongoing (for example administration costs), transactional (for example Stamp Duty paid by the fund when dealing in shares) or incidental (for example performance fees) and are referred to as such in your annual statement.

  • The Willis Owen ISA is a flexible ISA which means you will be able to withdraw and contribute back into the ISA within the same tax year without losing your ISA allowance. 

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Contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 597 2525.

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