Tax Savvy Family Finances – Kids’ Savings & Investments

Oct 8, 2015 | TC blog

Finance and your family: Savings and Investments

As well as trying to provide their children with a supportive and plentiful environment while they grow up, many parents also want to make sure they have something to help when they take their first independent steps into the world.

When saving or investing money for your children it is imperative that you take into account your medium and long term aims prior to making any decisions. Parents also need to consider how much they want to invest considering the child will most probably control the full funds when they reach either 16 or 18.

There are a number of options open to you, some more obvious than others.

High Interest Savings Accounts

The first choice for many parents looking to save money for their children is a high interest children’s savings account. Most banks and building societies offer a range of children’s accounts including easy access, fixed rate, notice and regular savings accounts.

If you want your child’s name to be the main account holder, then they must be aged over 7. Children are entitled to the same tax allowance as under-65s, which is £10,600 in 2015/16. Parents need to fill in the relevant form and send to HMRC when they register an account for a child.

It should be noted that savings providers tend to deduct tax before paying interest and it is up to the parent to reclaim it. Another interesting aspect relating to tax is that in normal savings accounts, if the parent pays in more than £100, any interest accrued will be deemed to be the parents’ for tax purposes.

Junior ISAs

Junior ISA’s have distinct advantages over regular savings accounts; they are subject to the same benefits as adult ISAs in that they provide a tax wrapper against capital gains and income tax.

Another benefit of a Junior ISA is that anyone, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and family friends can pay into it. Before Junior ISAs came into operation, however, the Government incentivised parents to open Child Trust Funds by offering them a £250 voucher. These trusts are no longer available to new entrants but existing ones can now be transferred into Junior ISAs.

While the child in question has control of the money in a Junior ISA, Children’s Bond or a Child Trust Fund at 16, they have to be 18 to make a withdrawal from an ISA or Trust.

Trust Funds

A Trust Fund is a way of saving and managing assets for people. There are different types of Trust and they are subject to different rates of tax.

The main types of Trusts are:

  • Bare Trusts
  • Interest in possession Trusts

  • Discretionary Trusts

  • Accumulation Trusts

  • Mixed Trusts

  • Settlor-interested Trusts

  • Non-resident Trusts

    How you want the assets to be managed and then dispersed, and why, is dependent on the form of Trust you choose and it is sensible to seek professional advice before you set one up. All of the forms of Trust can be used to invest in a child’s future.

    The reasons for setting up Trusts are straightforward:

  • to control and protect family assets
  • when someone is a minor and cannot handle their finances
  • when someone can’t handle their affairs because they’re incapable
  • to pass on assets when you are alive
  • to pass on assets when you die.

In terms of tax position, if the parent is the settlor of the Trust (puts money in) and the beneficiary child is a minor, the income generated will be deemed to remain with the parents for tax purposes.

 

Children’s Bonds

Children’s Bonds have been an attractive option for many years for people wishing to invest money for children. You can invest between £25 and £3,000, and interest is tax-free for parents and children. They are very low risk however they do not have any real growth potential, and the odds on winning a big prize are huge.  

If you are looking for advice on investing for your children, contact Carrie Campbell today at carrie@thomsoncooper.com.

 

 

 

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