Belfast Telegraph

Savers urged to cash in on ISAs

Taxpayers in Northern Ireland are missing out on the advantages of cash ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts), according to the Ulster Bank.

Its research found that while most savers are aware that ISAs offer tax advantages, many don't understand some of the key details of how they work including the upper limit of how much they can save.

It said time is running out to use this year's tax-free allowance but from April 6 savers can begin to maximise the tax-free allowances for 2012-13, either by investing a lump sum or by setting up a savings plan to put money away each month.

Stephen Cruise, head of Branch Banking, Private and Financial Planning NI at Ulster Bank, said that understanding ISAs and how best to take advantage could lead to a large sum of money sheltered from tax, continually accruing interest.

"ISAs are a great place to save because you pay no tax on the interest you earn, which will increase the amount of interest received. We would encourage savers to look at fixed rate ISAs because our research shows us that many people are now using ISAs to save for the longer term, and some of the best ISA rates available are on fixed-rate options," he said.