12th March 2024

What is a GIA?

GIA stands for General Investment Account.

It’s another type of account you can use to invest – but without any limits on the amount you can put in it each year. Many people use these accounts if they’ve already reached their ISA limit for a given tax year, and want to keep investing.

Unlike an ISA, you may need to pay capital gains tax and dividend taxton any gains or income you make on the investments in this account. Note that tax is subject to personal circumstances and is subject to change. Individuals should consult with a qualified tax advisor to determine the specific tax implications of their ISA investments.

How do GIAs work?

You can open a GIA and invest in assets like shares, funds and bonds, exactly like an ISA.

The only difference is that you’ll have to pay tax on the returns you make on your investments.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of a GIA is that there is no limit to how many accounts you can have, how many you pay into and how much you pay into in a tax year.

Generally, people use a GIA when they have maxed out their ISA allowance or already contributed to one with another provider in the tax year.

How much tax will I pay?

Taxes always depend on your individual circumstances. Please see advice from a professional tax advisor if you are unsure. Generally, you may have to pay two different kinds of taxes:

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

This tax is applied when you buy a good and sell it at a later date at a higher price. The rate at which it is taxed depends on the asset. You can usually get a £3,000 allowance (for the year 2024/2025, this is subject to change in the future), which means you will only pay taxes on any returns higher than that.

Income Tax

You might already be paying income tax if you’re employed in the UK. Some investments give you dividends, which is considered a form of income. As with your other incomes, you’d need to pay taxes on this. The amount of tax depends on your tax band – as a basic rate tax payer, you’ll pay less tax than if you’re a high rate tax payer.

You can usually get a £1,000 dividend allowance, which means you will only pay taxes on dividends above £1,000.