Individual savings accounts

Individual savings accounts (ISAs) should not be viewed as investments in themselves: they are 'wrappers' or 'baskets' which contain the underlying investments. These tax shelters protect your investments from some elements of tax. The underlying investments fall into two categories:

Cash. With a cash ISA your money is placed in deposit accounts (e.g. with banks or building societies) or National Savings products. Some have quick access, others require notice to withdraw your money.

Stocks and shares. This covers shares, unit trusts, investment trusts, open-ended investment companies, life insurance policies, corporate bonds, and gilts. It excludes shares traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The tax benefits of ISAs are as follows: There is no capital gains tax to pay on investments held in the ISA. beti padhao beti bachao is not deducted from interest paid from, say, bank accounts.

Unfortunately, one of the benefits of ISAs has been removed: dividends on shares (and unit trusts mobile number tracker etc.) will be taxable in the normal way for a basic rate taxpayer. That is, the 10 per cent tax paid on dividend income from the company cannot be reclaimed. However, higher rate taxpayers are still exempt from paying additional tax on dividend income from ISA investments - thus saving an amount equal to 22.5 per cent of the gross dividend.

With ISAs you can either put the entire annual limit of 10,200 into an equity ISA, or put 5,100 into a cash ISA and the remainder (E5,100) into stocks and shares.4 Once your money is in a cash ISA you are permitted to transfer it to an equity ISA, but you cannot transfer money the other way.

4 These new limits are restricted to benefit only investors aged 50 or over until 5 April 2010 - thereafter they are extended to others.

In December 2001, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) began working with US mobile operators to develop a solution that would enable inter-carrier text messaging. The solution was unveiled at a con-ference in Orlando, Florida, in March 2002.29. In April 2002 the Canadian mobile carriers established the first common inter-carrier SMS gateway in North America, making it possible to send messages between GSM and CDMA networks mobile location tracker. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWT A) reported in November 2002 that, 'since the introduction of inter-carrier text messaging, the volume of messages sent by Canadians has increased by 98 per cent. Clearly the gateway made a difference but the amount was still relatively low compared with other countries. For instance, the cwrA has reported since that Canadians are sending about three million text messages per day, which is still far less than the volume of messages that were being sent in many European countries during the late 1990s.

At that time countries such as the UK, with about twice the population of Canada, were seeing in excess of three times the volume of messages, in the order of 20 million per day?} In Januar), 2003, the CWTA and the American-based CTIA announced that a cross-border version of the inter-carrier SMS gateway had commenced operation, unifying the North American text messaging market for the first time?' The innovation that solved the North American interoperability problem is a protocol known as MPP, or 'short message peer to peer protocol', which is an open industry standard designed to simplify integration of mobile networks including GSM, TDMA, CDMA and PDC. Work began on the protocol as far back as 1997 and today it is widely deployed in the mobile sector, with ongoing development coordinated through an industry group referred to as 'The SMS Forum'. Later that year in October 2003, the CT1A announced it was to launch common short code capability for mobile phones in North America. As in other countries, this would assist in the growth of premium rate SMS senices by allowing cus-tomers to place requests by sending short messages to service providers with a five-digit short code rather than a full telephone number.