Your Freetrade ISA is now flexible 🤸

Hey :wave:

Your ISA is now flexible!

This means you have more freedom in managing your cash:

  • Withdraw cash from your ISA without ‘losing’ your allowance. Withdrawals from your ISA will now be added back to your £20,000 annual allowance, and you’ll be able to return that cash before the end of tax year.
  • Withdraw ISA contributions from previous tax years without ‘losing’ those allowances, so long as you return them within the same tax year.

If you’re interested, check out our Blog post on Flexible ISAs here :eyes:

Learn more about flexible ISAs:

How will my previous withdrawals be treated?

Your ISA is flexible as of 11 July 2024. Any withdrawals you’ve made before this date won’t be flexible, meaning they won’t be added back to your annual allowance. Check your remaining ISA allowance in your app.

Do I need to do anything?

No, you don’t need to do anything. Your ISA is now flexible and no action is needed. Our terms and conditions have changed in line with our ISA becoming flexible. You can read them here.

Have a question?

Check out our ISAs explained page to refresh your ISA knowledge. Or, drop us an email at hello@freetrade.io.

Happy (flexible) investing!

Jachym
Freetrade Team

When you invest, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.

ISA eligibility rules apply. Tax treatment depends on personal circumstances and current rules may change. The Freetrade ISA is flexible as of 11 July 2024. Withdrawals before this date cannot be replaced under the flexible ISA rules. Check your remaining ISA allowance in your app.

42 Likes

Can you confirm what happens in this example:

You put £20k in to your ISA.

The investment increases to £100k.

Can you withdraw the full £100k and pay it back in before the end of the tax year?

In the examples it’s not clear if you can withdraw ‘gains’ or if it’s just amounts equal to what has been deposited in to the account.

Thanks.

p.s. This is a great step forward. Not many ISA’s are flexible. Well done to the team!

3 Likes

Thanks @SlimShadey !

This example is covered (in slightly different terms) in our FAQs on what a “flexible withdrawal” is.

In the flexible ISA, withdrawals of gains are the same as withdrawals of previous years’ funds. So in your example:

  • You have £100k in your ISA, having deposited £20k and seen gains of £80k;
  • You withdraw £100k;

This would mean:

  • Your annual ISA allowance is replenished to £20k.
  • You will have a “flexible withdrawal” amount shown in your app of £80k. This flexible withdrawal can only be put back into your Freetrade ISA, before the end of the tax year.

Hope that clears it up!

As always, this is not tax advice and if you need advice on your personal circumstances, please speak to a professional adviser.

14 Likes

Great job Freetrade :slight_smile: keep up the good work <(^-^) >

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Great job Freetrade as community we are hoping for more good news in the second half of the year

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Well done!

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Firstly congratulations to the team for bringing this feature - thank you!
I have a slightly different scenario.

  • I have 50k in ISA (40k from previous years & gains and 10k added in current tax year).
  • I withdraw 20k which resets my allowance to 20k and then I add back the 20k
  • will all of 20k count towards my allowance or split (10k from withdrawal and 10k as addition)?
1 Like

I’m not 100% sure of the answer in this scenario so may be best to check on HMRC website or with Freetrade support, but I think if you withdrew £20K you would subsequently be able to deposit £30K before the end of the tax year (i.e. return the £20K flexible withdrawal + deposit another £10K due to remaining 24/25 subscription allowance).

You have already used £10K of your 24/25 subscription and I don’t think any subsequent withdrawal under flexible ISA terms changes that.

This is a fantastic improvement to the FT ISA. Well done!

3 Likes

Great, but what I’d really like to see is for you to be able to allow rights issues (an additional investment corporate action) so you would actually support your own terms and conditions:

  1. 21.4. If you become entitled to any proceeds (such as dividends) or non-monetary benefits (such as additional Investments) as a result of any corporate action in relation to the Investments in your Freetrade Account(s), we’ll take all reasonable steps to collect such proceeds or benefits and credit your Freetrade Account(s) accordingly.

because I think pretty much everyone else does cover them, So if you’re really the “Best Online Trading Platform” then you should be able to cover all aspects of trading. otherwise it should be the Best limited share holding platform, which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

There’s already topics on this and this is flexible isa chat.

7 Likes

While I am glad the Freetrade ISA is now flexible, can I ask if there is any reason not to backdate this change to the start of the tax year (which is allowed in the regulations)?

More broadly, it irritates me that features such as this which have been requested for years only ship shortly after one of your major competitors (T212) does the same.

Freetrade should be shipping basic features like this much more frequently and not taking years to implement them (tax certificates were another example) if you want to be successful

1 Like

Just hoping to keep the dev team focused on things that will actually impact peoples bottom line. I know that I don’t put anything into an ISA that I’m ever expecting to need and treat it more like a SIPP instead. I suppose it would be good to have the flexibility, but I don’t really envision a time where I would need to pull a few thousand pounds out short term and be able to put them back within a year. If I pull it out it must be for some emergency and I wouldn’t be able to put in back in regardless. I wonder at the impact this would actually have on anyone, because it would require you to be both maxing out your ISA contribution and also needing access to it on a short term basis. I’m sure it helps someone I’m just not sure who it would actually help.

Aside from emergency use, the main benefit I see is for people who may decide they want to park some funds as cash. Having a flexible ISA gives them the option to withdraw those funds and park in an interest-paying bank account. Whilst Freetrade ISA does pay interest on some cash, its only on a relatively small amount and for the standard plan the interest rate isn’t particularly impressive. Also whilst there are cash-like options available within Freetrade ISA (money market funds, treasury bills) some people may just prefer the simplicity of regular bank accounts. Another option is an ISA transfer to a cash ISA but this can take several weeks (and another several weeks to transfer back when you decide you want to invest it). Another consideration is that although interest earned outside ISA would be taxable, many people won’t need to pay any tax on it due to personal savings allowance.

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This is definitely useful.
Another example, my sisters fixed rate mortgage is coming to an end and her new mortgage will be more expensive. I said to her to withdraw from ISA to reduce the mortgage and then before end of tax put as much back as possible.

2 Likes

Hi,

If you transfer other stocks and shares ISAs from different providers to Freetrade, would this count as flexible?

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Yes, but would it not also make sense if the rate is particularly usurious to stop putting funds into the ISA and just make significant overpayments. You would be looking at an immediate 5% or thereabouts return by paying down the capital. Coupled with the peace of mind of having significantly lower payments in the future making it easier to put more in the ISA later. You would miss out on a year or two of compounding, but also make the bank miss out on a year or two of compounding.

I’m pleased that it exists, but it appears to me to be some quite specific use cases. I’d hope that it was very simple for them to accomplish and they saw it as a quick win to do, but I hope the developers can now work on things that could have a greater impact across the whole userbase. Things that will actually impact the bottom line of many users, and that people have left for other providers because FT is unable to accomplish things that they can manage.

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I think it is very useful, but agree, will probably be underused; personally it means that for cash that is definitely needed later this year (eg university fees) I can shelter it inside the tax wrapper until that time, rather than leaving it outside and thus liable to tax.

@Jachym