Help to Buy ISA: The deadline savers need to note or risk losing government bonus | Personal Finance | Finance

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The Help to Buy ISA scheme closed at the end of November 2019. However, it’s still possible for those with accounts to continue saving in them, but this won’t be forever, as there’s a deadline in terms of when they will have to stop paying money in – and when they can claim the bonus.

The account offers a 25 percent government bonus on the savings, up to £3,000.

Unlike the Lifetime ISA – another account which offers a 25 percent government bonus – the Help to Buy ISA bonus must be claimed once it is certain the transaction of purchasing a property will go ahead.

“This means that your solicitor or conveyancer will claim the bonus between exchange and completion,” the government website explains.

Those who currently have a Help to Buy ISA can keep saving into their account, and they can do this until November 30, 2029.

READ MORE: Lifetime ISA rules have changed – this is how the changes may affect you

From this date, accounts will close to additional contributions.

The Help to Buy section of the Gov.uk website explains that first-time buyers wanting to claim the bonus should do so by December 1, 2030.

How does the Help to Buy ISA work?

Those with a Help to Buy ISA can save up to £200 a month into the account.

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To kickstart their account, in the first month, an additional £1,000 can be paid into the account.

This means a lump sum of up to £1,200 may be deposited in the account in the first month.

The minimum government bonus that can be paid on these savings is £400.

This means that at least £1,600 must have been saved into the account before the bonus can be claimed.

It is possible to pay into both a Help to Buy ISA and a Lifetime ISA, if a person is eligible for both.

However, the bonus will only be able to be used from one of the accounts for the purposes of buying a house, rather than both.

Some may wonder whether they can transfer funds in a Help to Buy ISA to a Lifetime ISA.

“Yes, however the funds you transfer will count towards the £4,000 annual limit for the Lifetime ISA (and therefore cannot exceed this figure),” the government website explains.

“You will not receive the Help to Buy bonus, but your transferred funds will qualify for the Lifetime ISA bonus.”



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