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You could soon invest in charity bonds through your ISA

HMRC has announced they intend to allow investors to hold unlisted bonds and debentures in the new innovative finance ISA (IFISA). This means investors could receive tax-free interest on charity bonds or environmental bonds issued by an authorised crowdfunding platform by holding them in an IFISA.

In the original legislation, only bonds issued by companies with share capital were eligible. So we made the case for the inclusion of charity bonds.

HMRC wasn’t aware of the growing market for charity bonds, which Big Society Capital estimates at £86m. We told them about our work with charities such as Golden Lane Housing, GLL and Thera Trust in helping to promote their successful bond offers and our view of future increasing demand. We are delighted our views were taken on board and hope this encourages more social investment.

Introduced on 6 April this year, the IFISA was designed for investors to hold peer-to-peer loans tax free, within the annual ISA limit (currently £15,240 for 2016/17).

This proposed legislation to start including debt-based crowdfunded securities (which includes unlisted bonds) in the IFISA is currently under consultation, with a view to launching on 1 November 2016. While some crowdfunding platforms already offer the IFISA, it may take some time before the mechanics are put in place to hold unlisted bonds. There is also likely to be a fee for this type of investment, which will depend on the platform.

Investments held in an IFISA will be riskier than depositing money in a cash ISA, as capital will be at risk and investors may not get back the full amount invested. This type of investment is also not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Investors should always read the offer document in full and seek independent financial advice if needed.

Words by: Whitni Thomas

What do you think of "You could soon invest in charity bonds through your ISA"

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Barbara Wiles 4 years ago

Can I transfer existing bonds into an IFISA? If so, how?

Reply to Barbara Wiles
Whitni Thomas 4 years ago

The short answer is that it depends who your IFISA provider is and what types of bonds you are referring to. The IFISA can only be opened with a crowdfunding platform and most IFISA providers will only allow you to hold investments purchased on their platform. Some IFISA providers might allow you to transfer over exisiting bonds but these would need to be crowdfunded bonds issued by their platform for them to be eligible. Triodos Bank doesn’t yet offer the IFISA.

Alan 4 years ago

good news, about time