Can I invest some of my Sharesave money in an Isa without being taxed?

7 November 2013


I have a five-year Sharesave maturing next summer, which could be worth more than £50,000. I understand I have a capital gains tax allowance of £10,900, but believe I can also put up to £11,520 of shares in an Isa. How long do I have to leave shares in the Isa before I sell them so I am not taxed on them? Can I put them in one day and sell them a day or two later without being taxed on any profit?


First of all, well done. Sharesave schemes offer a fantastic opportunity to employees. They are one of the few investments where there genuinely is a huge upside with very little downside. That is because if the share price falls, you still get back the monthly savings that you put aside at maturity plus any tax-free bonus applicable.

Therefore, the only missed opportunity is that you might have got extra interest in the bank.

You can transfer some of these shares into an Isa up to the value of the Isa limit (£11,520 for 2013/14) and, once in an Isa, there shouldn't be any restriction on selling. If you are married you could transfer some shares to your spouse (a process known as ‘bed and spouse'), as there is no capital gains tax (CGT) between spouses.

Your spouse could then sell them at some point to make use of their CGT exemption. You can also stagger the sale over more than one tax year to reduce or eliminate CGT. If you were worried about maintaining a high level of exposure to one company, you might even decide to sell an amount over and above the various allowances and bite the bullet on paying some CGT.

What is a Sharesave scheme?

Sharesave, or Save As You Earn (SAYE), allows you to buy shares with your savings for a fixed price. Under the scheme, you can save up to £250 a month in either a three or five-year scheme. The advantages are any interest or bonuses are tax-free, and there is no income tax or National Insurance on the difference between what you pay for the shares and what they're worth.