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P.O. Box 62446
Harrisburg, PA 17107-2445

Tel. 717-238-2001
Toll Free 888-PA-IOLTA (724-6582)
Fax. 717-238-2003

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Frequently Asked Questions

The PA IOLTA Board provides assistance to attorneys with questions about establishing an IOLTA account.  If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions below, please contact our staff for assistance at 717-238-2001. If you received a letter from the IOLTA Board in conjunction with the Board’s annual attorney compliance monitoring, please contact our office immediately.

2. What will happen if a lawyer does not comply with Pa.R.P.C. 1.15?

If a lawyer does not comply with the requirements outlined in Rule 1.15 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct he or she will be subject to the same disciplinary penalties as any lawyer who does not comply with any of the other requirements for the practice of law in Pennsylvania.

3. What should I do about a letter I received from the IOLTA Board regarding trust accounts I reported on my attorney’s annual registration form?

Annually, the IOLTA Board runs a compliance check on the IOLTA accounts reported by each Pennsylvania attorney on his or her annual registration form.  If you received a letter from the IOLTA Board, you either listed an account on your attorney registration as an IOLTA account that the bank is not reporting to us; made a numerical error in listing the account number; or you reported an exemption that the Board did not grant.  Please call our office or email immediately to resolve the issue.

6. My law firm practices in multiple states, including Pennsylvania. Can we maintain Qualified Funds received as the result of our Pennsylvania practice in a non-Pennsylvania IOLTA account?

The Pennsylvania IOLTA rules and regulations are applicable if you are receiving what would otherwise be Pa. R.P.C. 1.15 Qualified Funds as the result of your practice of law in Pennsylvania (see 204 Pa. Code § 81.103(a)(ii) regarding the obligations of lawyers at law firms with a multi-state practice). If you are receiving such funds you will need to utilize a separate Pennsylvania-designated IOLTA account as financial institutions are not able to accommodate reporting the same IOLTA account to different state IOLTA authorities.

7. Can I utilize electronic transactions with my IOLTA account (ACH’s, wire transfers, etc.)?

Pennsylvania’s IOLTA rules and regulations do not prohibit the use of electronic transactions in conjunction with your firm’s IOLTA account.  However, the same information that would otherwise be recorded for check transactions must also be recorded for any transactions conducted electronically, and must contain the key information needed for the recordkeeping requirements in Pa. R.P.C. 1.15(c).

10. Does the Board provide any guidance to lawyers on handling client funds?

The IOLTA Board is not authorized to offer legal advice or ethical opinions. For guidance, please read Handling Funds of Others.

11. Who pays taxes on the interest income earned on IOLTA accounts?

Nobody. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that there are no tax consequences to the client, the lawyer or the IOLTA Board. Also, there is no tax reporting requirement for the lawyer, financial institution or client since all IOLTA accounts will use the Tax Identification Number of the IOLTA Board.

12. What is the IOLTA Board’s Tax ID?

The IOLTA Board’s tax ID is:  25-1802119.

13. Where does the interest earned on IOLTA accounts go?

Interest earned on IOLTA accounts may be used only for the following purposes:

  1. delivery of civil legal assistance to the poor and disadvantaged;
  2. educational legal clinical programs and internships administered by law schools;
  3. the administration of justice; and
  4. the administration and development of the IOLTA program.

All disbursements and allocations of IOLTA funds are subject to the prior approval of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

View a list of the Board’s Grantees »

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Pro Hac Vice

Out-of-state attorneys seeking to enter their appearance on a Pennsylvania case must pay an admission fee of $375 per case to the IOLTA Board prior to filing the motion with the court. Complete your pro hac vice application online and pay the $375 fee by check or credit card.

Pro Hac Vice Admission Fee
Payment Form »

Platinum Leader Banks

Platinum Leader Banks are financial institutions that go above and beyond eligibility requirements to ensure the success of the IOLTA program and increase funding for legal aid. Pennsylvania attorneys are encouraged to patronize them.

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Leader Bank »

Support Us

There is one legal aid lawyer for every 6,415 people living in poverty. Pro bono representation by private attorneys is an enormously valuable supplement to the services of civil legal aid programs.

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Direct Class Action Residual funds and Cy Pres awards to the PA IOLTA Board!

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