How much can you put in an ISA?

The personal ISA allowance (the maximum you can contribute across all types of ISA in a single financial year) is £20,000. This means you can pay up to £20,000 into most ISAs, or split that total between the various types of adult ISA available.

This allowance has remained unchanged since 2017.

A brief history of the annual ISA allowance

The Individual Savings Account (ISA) was introduced in 1999 as a replacement for the existing Tax-exempt Special Savings Accounts (TESSAs) and Personal Equity Plans (PEPs). Its purpose was to encourage long-term saving or investment by offering a tax-free method that wasn’t subject to a time limit.

Initially, there were only the two types of ISA available: the stocks and shares ISA and the cash ISA. The yearly allowance in 1999 was £7,000 for the former and £3,000 for the latter. In the years since, the allowances and ISA types available have increased.

What is the ISA allowance for 2024/25 per type?

The following table lists the adult ISAs available, along with their maximum ISA allowance for the 2024/25 tax year. However many you pay into, your total contributions cannot exceed your personal ISA tax allowance of £20,000. 

ISA type
Maximum yearly allowance
Stocks and shares ISA
Cash ISA
Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA)
Lifetime ISA*
Help to Buy ISA**
£200 per month

* The Lifetime ISA can be paid into up until the age of 50. The state contributes an additional 25%, although this is removed if you withdraw your money or transfer to another type of ISA before the age of 60.

** The Help to Buy ISA is no longer available, although existing holders can continue contributing until November 2029. A 25% state bonus up to £3,000 is offered upon the purchase of a first home and can be claimed up until November 2030.

What is the junior ISA allowance?

The junior ISA allows parents or legal guardians to open an ISA to save for their child's future. Available as both a stocks and shares ISA and a cash ISA, the junior ISA can be paid into until the child turns 18. At this point it becomes a standard adult ISA of an equivalent type.

The yearly allowance for a junior ISA of both types is £9,000. This total can be paid into one type alone or divided between the two.

While still a junior ISA, the money held remains inaccessible. Once it becomes an adult ISA, the child is free to use it as they wish. They will also be able to open their own normal cash ISA from the age of 18.

If you are paying into a junior ISA, as well as an ISA or ISAs of your own, the £9,000 limit does not affect your own personal allowance of £20,000.

Can ISA allowances be carried forward?

With the tax-free ISA allowance, if you don't contribute the maximum amount permitted within a single tax year, you cannot carry the remainder forward to the next. The allowance will always reset at the beginning of the new tax year on April 6th.

Nor can you transfer your ISA allowance to another person, regardless of your relationship to them. The allowance is for the individual alone, whether used or not.

Do ISA transfers count towards my allowance?

An ISA transfer does not count towards your annual ISA allowance. For example, if you had £35,000 saved in previous tax years, sitting in a cash ISA, you could transfer any or all this amount into a new stocks and shares ISA.

As long as you weren’t currently paying into any other ISAs, the new ISA would still have its £20,000 annual tax-free allowance.

How to check your remaining ISA allowance

To check how much you have remaining of your annual tax-free ISA allowance, you would need to add up your current-year contributions to each ISA you hold. Subtracting the total from £20,000 would give you your present remaining allowance.

You can check with your provider how much you have contributed this tax year, usually through their website or app.

Bear in mind the value of investments and any income can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest.

You might also be interested in…

What is a stocks and shares ISA?

With our guide to stocks and shares ISAs, you can find out more about investment ISAs and whether one is the right choice for you.

Junior ISAs explained

Everything you should know about opening an ISA for your child, including the different types of junior ISA available and how they work.

Cash ISA vs stocks and shares ISAs

Which type of ISA is the best for achieving your financial goals? This guide gives you a comprehensive insight into both ISA types.