Spouses looking to take advantage of inheriting a tax-free ISA will have to open up a new account with their deceased partner's provider according to proposed rules by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Chancellor George Osborne in December 2014 announced that people inheriting ISAs from their spouses would benefit from the vehicles’ tax-free status as part of his Autumn Statement.
If an ISA saver in a marriage or civil partnership dies, their spouse or civil partner can transfer the ISA wrapper and keep its tax advantages.
However in draft legislation published by HMRC earlier this month, it proposed that one condition of inheriting the ISA was that the new ISA would have to be managed by the same provider who managed the deceased partner’s account.
Rachel Griffin, head of technical marketing at Old Mutual Wealth, said the legislation would cause problems for customers, especially if they are faced with exit charges to consolidate their ISAs.
‘It seems odd to require the new ISA to be opened with the provider of the deceased spouse, rather than the provider the surviving spouse currently uses.There are obvious benefits of holding all your ISA investments in one place so the current proposals would result in unnecessary transfers for consumers and providers,’ she said.
‘Creating legislation to support government policy is challenging but we believe the customer outcome must be the key priority and we will consult HMRC in order to achieve this.’