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Can I open 2 ISAs in the same tax year?

Saving | Cash ISAs Helpful? 15

Asked by William73, submitted 16 March 2011.

Open Quote I have had money in ISA's for some years and I thought I knew all about this subject, but I am not
sure if this has been mentioned. Can you open two ISA's in the same tax year and split your
allowance between the two?
End Quote

Answered by Justin on 16 March 2011

You can open one stocks & shares ISA and one cash ISA, each with a different provider, during the same tax year - subject to investing no more than £5,100 in cash and £10,200 overall (rising to £5,340 and £10,680 in the 2011/12 tax year).

But, ignoring transfers, you can't open more than one cash ISA or one stocks & shares ISA in the same tax year. You can transfer your existing year's ISA (cash or stocks & shares components) from one provider to another, but you must transfer the whole amount to ensure you still only have one provider (per component) for the current tax year. If you transfer without having fully used the current year's ISA allowance you can use any unused balance via the new provider.

The rules are far more relaxed for ISAs from previous tax years as you can split transfers between multiple providers. The only real restriction is that while you can transfer cash ISAs into stocks & shares ISAs, you can't transfer the other way around.

Please note this answer does not constitute a recommendation or financial advice and should not be relied upon when making specific investment or other financial decisions. You should always undertake your own research into whether a product or service is appropriate for your needs and, if necessary, use a qualified professional adviser.

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Readers' Comments (3) - To post a comment please register or login .

Comment by speakeasy at 5:33pm on 20 Mar 2011:

Is this strictly true?
Can I open 2 new ISAs - one for old money and one for new?
For example, I open a new best buy ISA and transfer £5200 into it. But this ISA will not accept transfers. Can I not open another ISA which has a competitive, if slightly lower, rate and transfer all my old ISAs (from accounts which have rates that are no longer competitive) into this one?
As I'm about to do this, I'd appreciate the clarification!

Comment by speakeasy at 5:36pm on 20 Mar 2011:

OK, so I'm talking about 2 cash ISAs rather than one cash and one stocks & shares (I should have read more carefully!)
But my question about 2 cash ISAs stands.
And an 'edit' button would be nice :-)

Comment by justin at 6:19pm on 20 Mar 2011:

I've just amended my answer to be a llittle clearer - the rule about opening just one stocks & shares and one cash ISA ignores transfers. So yes, you can open one cash ISA this tax year with new money and another to accept a transfer from existing cash ISAs. You're just not allowed to put any new money into the ISA opened to accept the transfer.

Good idea re: an edit button, I guess email notification when someone replies to a readers' comment would be useful too. I'll try and do the necessary programming in the next week or two.