Junior ISA account
- A long term tax free stocks and shares investment account for children under the age of 18
- Invest up to £ for the current tax year.
Investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. The information on this page does not constitute personal advice.
X-O.co.uk is an execution only service where customers make their own investment decisions. If you are planning to transfer your investments to us, please check with your existing provider for excessive exit fees or any loss of benefits.
You can open a Junior ISA (JISA) stocks & shares account for your child if they:
- Are under 18 years of age
- Live in the UK
- If your child lives outside the UK, they can open a JISA if both the following apply
- You’re a crown servant (in the UK’s armed force, diplomatic service or overseas civil service, for example)
- They depend on you for care
If a child was born between 2002 and 2011, they might have a Child Trust Fund (CTF). You can transfer the CTF into a Junior ISA account using the CTF transfer form.
How does it work?
- A child’s parent or legal guardian (with parental responsibility) must open the Junior ISA account on their behalf.
- You can only open one Junior stocks and shares ISA (unlike ISA’s where you can open multiple stocks and shares ISA accounts over different tax years)
- Money in the account belongs to the child, but they can’t withdraw it until they turn 18, apart from in exceptional circumstances.
- Parents, friends and family can all deposit monies into the Junior ISA as long as the total stays under the annual limit.
- No tax is payable on interest or investment gains.
- When your child turns 18, they will need to apply for an Adult ISA (ISA) account and transfer the Junior ISA to their new account or they can request to withdraw and close the Junior ISA account.
Who can apply?
Only a person with parental responsibility for an eligible child (or the child themselves if they are aged between 16 and 18) can apply to open a JISA and become the registered contact. However, the account must be held in the name of the child. The registered contact will be the account contact for all statement and correspondence purposes and there can only be one registered contact at any time. The registered contact is the only person who can give instructions to the JISA manager. During the lifetime of a Junior ISA, the role of registered contact can be passed to another person who has parental responsibility.
If a child is between 16 and 18 years of age, they can become the registered contact for their account at any time, and without the consent of an existing registered contact (subject to an exception for children suffering mental disorder). Once the child account holder has assumed registered contact status, this cannot be passed to another person.
Making a subscription
The subscription year is based on tax years and runs from the 6th April to the following 5th April. Any person can subscribe to a child’s JISA by way of a cash payment (cheque, debit card or standing order). The person subscribing need not be resident in the UK, nor do they have to be related to the child. Once a subscription is made to a JISA, the cash, and any investments bought with the cash, are beneficially owned by the child and the subscriber cannot recover their subscription.
When a child reaches age 16 they can apply for a cash ISA which they can subscribe to in addition to any subscriptions made to their JISA(s). Holding both a cash JISA and a cash ISA does not breach the JISA rule that the child can only have one JISA account of each type, and the subscription limits for all ISA products apply independently of whether or not a child holds, or has held, a JISA in the relevant year.
Therefore, in the tax year in which the child turns 16 they can subscribe up to the JISA limit, and from their birthday they can, in addition, subscribe up to the overall ISA limit to the cash ISA.
In addition, from the start of the tax year the child turns 18, they can:
- use their whole JISA subscription limit (even though the JISA will be held for a part-year only)
- subscribe the overall ISA limit to a cash ISA
- from their 18th birthday, invest in a stocks and shares ISA, an innovative finance ISA, or a lifetime ISA subject to the subscription limits
Qualifying investments in the JISA
The investments that may be purchased and held in a JISA mirror the investments that can be held in an ISA.
What happens when the child reaches 18 years old?
When the account holder turns 18, the rules specific to JISAs will fall away. The child can access the savings in the (former) JISA and can make withdrawals. Any savings in the account that are not immediately withdrawn will stay within the ISA wrapper and the same tax advantages will apply. Further subscriptions can be accepted in accordance with ISA rules, but only once additional account holder information is obtained.
Withdrawals from an ISA
Investments (including cash) in a JISA may only be withdrawn in the following circumstances:
- where a terminal illness claim made on behalf of the child has been agreed,
- on closure of the JISA (see below), or
- to meet certain provider management charges and other specific expenses.
Closure of the JISA
A JISA can only be closed:
- on the death of the child,
- on the child reaching their 18th birthday, or
- on direct instruction from HM Revenue & Customs (where the JISA is void).
Transferring a JISA
If you would like to transfer in a Junior ISA from another Junior ISA Manager, please download a form from below, complete the necessary details and return it to us.Transfer Junior ISA from another broker
Transferring in a Child Trust Fund
From 6 April 2015, parents can transfer their child’s Child Trust Funds (CTFs) to a Junior ISA. This change could enable children to benefit from wider investment choice, lower costs and potentially greater returns.
By transferring a CTF to a Junior ISA, your child could have the opportunity to achieve better returns, pay lower charges and have a greater choice of investments. Please note that you cannot have a Junior ISA as well as a Child Trust Fund. If you want to open a Junior ISA you must transfer the trust fund into it. If you want to transfer a CTF to a Junior ISA, you will need to open a Junior ISA account, which you can do online, and then complete a CTF Transfer form and return this to us.
Once we receive the form, we will contact the CTF provider to transfer the full account value to a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA. We will let you know once the transfer is complete.
If you don't know where your child's CTF is held, you can visit the HMRC website for help finding the account.
You must be the child's parent or guardian to open the Junior ISA. Applications for a Junior ISA account can be made in the 'Apply now' page or the corresponding button.