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Looking for alternative Christmas presents?

Consider investing as alternative gift

Why not consider a different kind of gift for your children or grandchildren this Christmas – perhaps one with a financial twist?

According to a prediction made by Hamleys in October, among some of the top bestselling toys this Christmas will be:

  • XShot Skins Last Stand Dart Blaster
  • Play-Doh Ice Cream Cart
  • Peppa Pig Roller Disco.

Alternative options

For those who perhaps would prefer not to wholly invest in plastic for Christmas in 2022, there are other options. With greater durability and a better long-term return on investment, you could consider a financial gift instead. Your options include:

  • Junior ISAs (JISAs). These are similar to an adult ISA, so are free of UK income tax and capital gains tax (CGT). The maximum total investment (from all sources) is £9,000 per tax year. JISAs are available to any child under the age of 18 who does not already have a Child Trust Fund.
  • Personal pension. Whereas the funds in a JISA are available from age 18, pension fund monies are locked up for much longer. Currently to age 55 but for today’s children that could rise to at least age 60. The maximum investment is also smaller at £3,600 a year, but this comes with basic rate tax relief, meaning your maximum outlay is £2,880.
  • Absolute trusts. Absolute (or outright) trusts can be used to make investments in unit trusts and open-ended investment funds. The control of the investments lies with the trustees until the child reaches 18 (16 in Scotland) at which point the child, as beneficiary, is entitled to take over. If the gift originates from a parent and the income generated exceeds £100, it is taxable on the parent (to be clear the limit is £100 per parent, per child, per tax year). This rule does not apply to gifts from grandparents (or others) and any CGT is always treated as the child’s.
  • Premium bonds. Apart from a somewhat uncompetitive JISA (paying 2.70% variable at the time of writing), premium bonds are the only offering that National Savings and Investments promotes for those under the age of 16. Prizes are tax free (even if capital came from a parent), but the prize rate of 2.2% means that the children’s accounts offered by some banks and building societies offer a better return.

These options feel less exciting to unwrap under the Christmas tree, but they also aim to grow with their recipients.

Keep in mind

The value of investments and pensions and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax and trust advice.

Investors do not pay any personal tax on income or gains, but ISAs do pay unrecoverable tax on income from stocks and shares received by the ISA managers.

Stocks and Shares ISAs invest in corporate bonds; stocks and shares and other assets that fluctuate in value.

Investment in a registered pension fund is subject to many restrictions on access and on how the funds can be used.

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