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Additional Permitted Subscription (APS)

In his 2014 Autumn Statement, George Osborne announced that any accumulated ISA could effectively be inherited by a surviving spouse or civil partner in the form of an increased ISA allowance for them. This is known as the Additional Permitted Subscription (APS).

In this section

How does the APS work?

Anyone who was married or in a civil partnership with someone who died on or after 3 December 2014 can now apply for an additional ISA allowance, known as the Additional Permitted Subscription (APS).

If the deceased died before 6 April 2018, the APS is equal to the value of the ISA on the date of death. For example, if your spouse died on or after 3 December 2014 (but before 6 April 2018) with an ISA valued at £50,000, this would be your APS.

If the deceased died on or after 6 April 2018, their ISA will become a 'continuing ISA'. It will keep this status until the earliest of:

  • The completion of the administration of the estate
  • The 3rd anniversary of the date of death
  • The closure of the ISA due to all the funds being withdrawn

In this case, the APS is equal to the higher of the value of the ISA on the date of the investor's death or the value of the ISA on the date it stops being a 'continuing ISA'.

Where an investor held ISAs with several companies, a separate APS will be available for each.

Who is eligible for an APS?

An individual is eligible for an APS if:

  • Their spouse or civil partner died on or after 3 December 2014; and
  • They were not estranged or separated from their spouse or civil partner

Does the APS affect your ISA allowance for the current tax year (2018/19)?

No, the APS is separate from the ISA allowance (£20,000 for the 2018/19 tax year). The surviving spouse or civil partner can use their ISA allowance in the normal way, in addition to any APS.

Example: If your spouse died on 1 January 2017 with an ISA valued at £50,000, you could contribute £70,000 (£50,000 plus £20,000) to your ISA for the 2018/19 tax year and protect your savings and investments from the taxman. Remember tax rules can change and benefits depend on personal circumstances.

How can an APS be made?

Cash: investors can make a cash contribution using their own cash or cash inherited from the deceased.

Investments: investments held in the deceased's ISA can also be transferred into the surviving spouse or civil partner's ISA directly without needing to be sold. Please note, investments can only be transferred into an ISA with the same company with which the deceased held their ISA.

Where the value of any inherited ISA investments is less than the APS (i.e. the value of investments have gone down since the date of death), a top up payment can also be made with cash.

If the deceased died between 3 December 2014 and 5 April 2018 and the value of any inherited ISA investments is greater than the APS (because they have risen in value since the date of death), investments can only be transferred into the ISA up to the value of the APS.

What are the time limits to use the APS?

  • An APS made as stock must be completed within 180 days of the distribution of the assets to the surviving spouse
  • An APS made as cash is available for three years after the date of death, or for up to 180 days after the administration of the estate is complete, whichever is later

Can I use my APS with another provider?

Yes, providing the new provider accepts APS transfers. At Hargreaves Lansdown, we accept APS transfers from other providers. Where an APS is transferred to a new provider, contributions can only be made with cash.

If transferring investments from your deceased spouse, you can only transfer to an ISA with the same provider as your deceased spouse. For example, if your spouse held ISA investments with Hargreaves Lansdown, you could only transfer the investments to an ISA with Hargreaves Lansdown.

It is the value of the investments at the time of transfer into the name of the surviving spouse that counts towards the APS subscription. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than originally invested.

How do I contribute to an ISA and make use of an APS with Hargreaves Lansdown?

Once the APS has been registered, the surviving spouse or civil partner needs to read our Key Features, Terms & Conditions (including Tariff of Charges) and Important Investment Notes, then complete and return the APS ISA Application Form. The APS does not need to be used all at once, so a surviving spouse or civil partner could make several contributions to make use of their APS.

Before transferring please check you won't incur excessive exit penalties and you will benefit from transferring.

Download APS ISA application form

Download the APS ISA application form