Move shares from GIA to ISA account

First of all, thank you for this amazing product. One of the features that I have been waiting, is to support transferring shares from a GIA to ISA account. Currently, as your support page mention, it is not possible.

Are you planning to implement this feature in a near future? Do you even have this feature on your roadmap? I believe many users are interested in this feature since they start using the free version GIA and after they reach a certain volume of shares, then it makes sense to move everything to a ISA account and pay 3£ per month.

Cheers :slight_smile:

This isn’t a limitation in FT, it is not possible to move shares from your GIA into your ISA.

You’ll have to sell your shares in your GIA, move the money to your ISA and buy them from within your ISA. This is known as “bed and ISA” - you’ll find plenty of info if you google the term.


What might be good is an automated process for this. One click to sell your shares move the money into the ISA and rebuy them. Right now if you have more than a few stocks it would take ages fumbling through he app to do it all manually.

Thank you for your answer, I was not aware of the term “bed and ISA” :bowing_man:

Do you know if it’s possible to move shares the other way around? Transfer my shares from a ISA to a GIA?

Yes, but no. I believe you would have to sell your holdings in the ISA, transfer the money to the GIA and then repurchase the shares. But there’s no point in doing that unless your goal is to increase your tax liabilities.

With the GIA you have a £12,300 capital gains allowance and £2k dividends allowance, i.e. tax free capped. With the ISA, all gains and dividends are tax free. Bare in mind that legislation may change in the future


Sell my shares and repurchase them it means losing money, which I am not interested. My only concern is that if I move to another country. Then I cannot charge my ISA account anymore. I know that Freetrade only supports UK but they are planning to expand to Europe next year.

I can see two ways to make this work, assuming you have both a GIA and an ISA:
a) you sell your positions in the GIA at a loss and repurchase them in the ISA at a lower price than your first purchase;
b) you stop funding your GIA and fund your ISA only, carry on buying whatever you want to buy on the ISA only, and wait for the price of your GIA holdings hit a price you like and then sell.
Makes sense?

Correct. You won’t be able to continue to fund your ISA if you leave the UK. But whatever is there before you leave can stay and remain tax free. Unless a) the UK government changes the legislation, or b) the country where you will be living in charges taxes on overseas income; you would need to consult a lawyer or a financial adviser in your new country of residence in order to clarify - the two countries may have an agreement in place that prevents double taxation or something else…

Even with expansion to continental european countries the issue above would apply

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Thank you very much for your suggestions @Raul :bowing_man: I think I am going to open an ISA and sell my neutral ±5% investments on my GIA and and buy them again in my ISA.

Btw the GIA limit tax free is 12k and ISA 20k can I combine both?

Good option in the long run

That is a good option, but be aware you are not obliged to do it that way. You can keep both a GIA and an ISA.

You mentioned earlier you would be selling at a loss. Let’s imagine you bought a share of Company A for £5.00. You sell it tomorrow for £4.14. When you buy it again in the ISA it can be £4.08, £4.27, £5.02, etc, meaning nobody knows future prices. So I think the question you must ask yourself is how much you would be losing if the price action would evolve against you. Would you be loosing a couple of pounds, hundreds, thousands?

If you would risk to lose just a few quid, I guess that’s a loss worth taking given the benefits of having everything in the ISA. But if you could lose enough money to buy a plain ticket, the electricity bill or something of the sort I would suggest option b) from my previous post.

They are different in nature. And yes, you can combine both, in a very specific way due to that difference.

The GIA limitit tax free refers to a tax allowance on capital gains of up to £12,300. What does this means. It means that if you buy and sell shares during the financial year, you will benefit from a tax exemption of up to £12,300 on you profits. Imagine you bought £2000 pounds of shares in Company A. You later sell for £14k. Congratulations, you’ve made a £12k profit, tax free. Now imagine instead, you sold for £16k. You’ve made £14k profit. Of those £14k, £12,300 are tax free. The remainder £1,700 are subject to capital gains tax, meaning you would have to pay taxes on £1,700 only. Makes sense?

The ISA £20k is an entire different beast. £20k is the amount you can deposit in your ISA account for the current financial year. All the capital gains and dividends obtained within the ISA are tax free under current legislation. Please bare in mind any future government may change the rules.

So can they be combined? Absolutely. You can fund an ISA account and benefit from the tax exemptions it offers, and maintain a GIA and benefit from the capped tax allowance. But why bother having two accounts when the ISA, under current legislation, gives so much more and make life simple? It does cost £3 per month, you must not forget, but gives peace of mind. In your case, however, it might be beneficial to have both temporarily, so you could transfer your holdings either by bed & ISA; or by stop buying in the GIA and start buying in the ISA only, selling your current stocks in the GIA later, when you like the price, withdraw the money, wait for it to reach your bank account, deposit it into your ISA, and buy more shares.