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Fidelity pinpoints Isa blunders

Fidelity has compiled a list of the most common Isa application errors to help IFAs ensure that last-minute investments are processed trouble-free.

It says that 18 per cent of Isa application forms received by it and FundsNetwork have one or more error and cannot be processed automatically. Fidelity says the end of the tax year is often the time when the error rate is at its highest.

The most common error is not indicating whether the investor is choosing a mini or maxi Isa. The second most common mistake is to omit the National Insurance number or record it inaccurately.

Other common mistakes include not making the fund choice clear, submitting an unsigned declaration and filling in cheques incorrectly.

The number of IFA errors is lower than direct investors but 11 per cent of adviser forms still contain some error although Fidelity says 75 per cent are rectified on the day of application.

Head of IFA business Stuart Holah says: “Despite the best efforts of advisers, hundreds of clients are likely to submit incorrect or incomplete Isa applications in the run-up to April 5, particularly where forms are completed by the client.

“In the worst case, clients could end up sacrificing the opportunity to use this year&#39s Isa allowance if errors cannot be rectified before the tax year-end. We move heaven and earth to resolve application queries but every year there are 11th-hour applications where we are simply unable to open a plan legally.

“By highlighting the most common causes of application errors, we hope we can help advisers to help their clients avoid this frustrating outcome.”

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