Moneywise readers swoop on last-minute ISAs

Clock and coins

More than half of Moneywise readers will invest the full ISA allowance before the tax year ends at midnight tonight, according to a new poll.

The savvy intentions of our readers mean they will benefit from tax-free savings on the full 2012/13 tax year allowance of £11,280, half of which can be invested in a cash ISA.

On top of the 52% of readers who said they will invest the full amount before the new tax year starts on Saturday, 22% said they would invest part of the allowance.

Another 21% said they would not be investing as they do not have any spare cash lying around, while only 4% said they do not know how to use their ISA allowance.

Despite the promise of tax-free savings, some savers are less than enamored with some of the rates currently offered by providers.

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One reader, Hesperus, said: "I have to admit to feeling something of a fool for bothering to save these days.

"Interest rates are so low and after the Cyprus disaster I now feel as if my hard-saved money is vulnerable."

But Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarkert, said: "You'd be throwing money away to the taxman if you didn't take advantage."

He added: "A number of providers have announced new rates in the last few weeks, and finally we're seeing more competitive rates emerge.

"Due to falling savings rates, we are now beginning to see more people opting for fixed-rate ISAs over easy-access cash ISAs. While the rates on these products are more generous, savers need to be prepared to lock the money away as they cannot access it during the term of the bond.

"For those who cannot afford to lock money away, you can still get rates five times that of base rate on easy-access cash ISAs."

He said it is worth planning ahead for the next tax year as well – when the allowance increases to £11,520.

Click here to vote in our ISA poll.

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