There are some important rules - and features - associated with IFISAs that potential investors should be aware of.
First and foremost, the key feature of an IFISA is that investors are able to hold debt-based securities and lend funds through the P2P lending market without having to pay any income tax or capital gains tax.
You're only able to open and subscribe funds to one IFISA per tax year, and your annual IFISA allowance gives you the ability to invest up to the maximum ISA allowance overall (which is £20,000 for the 2020/21 tax year).
Therefore, if you have more than one type of ISA (i.e., an IFISA and a Stocks & Shares ISA), you need to decide how much of your ISA allowance you want to subscribe to each during the tax year.
Other IFISA rules include;
- There are no limits to the amount of money you can transfer into your IFISA from other ISAs, as long as it has been accumulated within the ISA regime in previous tax years.
- You cannot hold stocks and shares in an IFISA, so if you wanted to transfer your Stocks and Shares ISA, you must first liquidate the holdings - so that the ISA is only holding cash.
- You should never attempt to transfer funds from one ISA to another manually. Instead, you should contact your ISA provider and follow the necessary procedures to ensure your funds do not lose their tax free status.
- Regular debt crowdfunding, or P2P lending, can be held in an IFISA, but equity-based crowdfunding securities are excluded.
- Debentures and other debt-based securities can be held in an IFISA.
- IFISAs are not covered by the FSCS, a scheme that protects customers when authorised financial services firms fail by covering investments up to a certain amount. For example, Cash ISAs are protected by the FSCS for up to £85,000.
MAVEN Bonds are an IFISA provider specialising in fixed term property bonds.
Against a backdrop of low interest rates and a volatile stock market, the IFISA can provide an attractive investment opportunity for experienced investors.
With the ability to hold peer-to-peer loans and debt-based securities, IFISA investments have the potential to generate higher rates of return than more traditional investment routes for investors with a greater appetite for risk.
To find out more, download our free IFISA guide.