What is a Junior GIA?
A Junior GIA is an account opened by a ‘bare trust’ and controlled by one or more trustees (e.g. parents or grandparents) on behalf of a child beneficiary. Returns are taxable but you may be able to make use of the child’s annual tax allowances for both income and capital gains. There is no limit on contributions, unlike JISAs which have an annual limit of £4,368. The child (beneficiary) has an absolute right to the assets at age 18 but the money can be accessed by the trustees prior to 18 in order to provide benefit to the child.
What are the differences between a Junior GIA and a Junior ISA?
Junior GIAs offer a more flexible way to invest on behalf of a child than a Junior ISA.
Unlike Junior ISAs which have a contribution limit each year there is no limit to how much you can contribute to a Junior GIA.
Only a parent or legal guardian can open a Junior ISA in the name of a child. Junior GIAs can be opened by anyone although typically we would recommend that it is the first trustee of the bare trust. However, this is not necessarily the same as the donor or settlor to the trust (the individual funding the account/trust).
A child is only allowed one Junior ISA meaning that if a child has a Junior ISA open with one provider they are unable to fund a Junior ISA with a different provider regardless of the tax year. There is no limit to how many Junior GIAs can be opened on behalf of the child.
All returns and income within a Junior ISA are tax free. Returns and income within a Junior GIA are taxable but you may be able to use the child’s annual tax allowances. This will depend on the donor to the trust. If income generated from contributions from a parent exceeds £100 then this is treated as the parent’s income for tax purposes. Alternatively, if the trust contributions arise from someone other than the child’s parent, for example a grandparent, then the investments will be taxed according to the child’s tax rate.
Withdrawals and control of the funds
You cannot withdraw money from a JISA once it has been funded. When the child turns 18, the Junior ISA is converted into a regular adult ISA and they will then have full access to their investments and savings, and can withdraw their capital if they wish to.
Money held in Junior GIAs can be accessed by the trustees at any time for the benefit of the child e.g. to pay school fees. At the age of 18 the child (beneficiary of the bare trust) has an absolute right to the capital and can request it from the trustees. At this point they may choose to use the funds to open a full GIA or an adult ISA in their own name. They do not have to remove the funds from the Junior GIA and the trust can remain in place for as long as the trustees and the beneficiary would like providing the child has not requested the funds.
Further information regarding trusts and taxation can be found at https://www.gov.uk/trusts-taxes
Opening a Junior GIA
Please follow the investment design process and select the Junior GIA from the account type at step 3. We will provide you with an additional application form which is required for these accounts. If you do not already have a bare trust in place then we can also provide you with a pro forma to establish one.
Please note Netwealth does not provide tax advice