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General Investment Account (GIA)

A general investment account (GIA) is a simple way to invest more money once you've used up all of your ISA limit for the tax year. There are no limits on how much you can invest each year, however it doesn't have the tax-efficiency of an ISA or pension. 

Child Saving Piggy Bank


 

With a general investment account, individuals have the opporunity to invest in a range of securities without the need to lock money away until a certain age (like a pension) or with limits to how much can be invested in each year (pension and ISA). 

However, it is important to remember that investment accounts do not offer the same tax benefits as pensions or ISAs meaning that any income you receive from your investments will be taxed as savings income and any gains that you make when selling your investments will be subject to capital gains tax. 

Savings income tax

Savings income tax

In a General Account, any dividends and/or interest that your investments generate are taxable in the year you receive them, and you'll have to pay the tax with your next self-assessment. 

Basic-rate taxpayers are entitled to a £1,000 personal savings allowance each tax year, higher-rate taxpayers are entitled to a £500 allowance and additional-rate taxpayers do not have any savings allowance. Interest income above this rate is taxed at standard income rates.

For dividends, taxpayers are entitled to a £2,000 dividend allowance each year. Any dividends above this allowance are taxed at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers. 

Capital gains tax

Capital gains tax

When you eventually sell your investments, you will need to pay capital gains tax if your gains exceed the HMRC limit, which is currently £12,300 for the 2020/21 tax year.

Capital gains tax rates are 10% for basic-rate taxpayers and 20% for higher-rate taxpayers.