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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 reported an IOLTA account that the bank is not reporting to us or you reported an exemption that the Board did not grant.  Please call our office immediately to resolve the conflict.

8. 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.

9. 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 IRS reporting requirement for the lawyer, financial institution or client since all IOLTA accounts will use the Tax Identification Number of the IOLTA Board.

10. How does the IOLTA program affect financial institutions?

Financial institutions are not mandated to participate in IOLTA. However, financial institutions that wish to be depositories into which lawyers can deposit Rule 1.15 Funds, must be approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

IOLTA accounts are interest-bearing accounts. The rate of interest or dividend paid on IOLTA Accounts shall be not less than the highest rate of interest or dividend generally available from the Eligible Institution to non-IOLTA customers when the IOLTA Account meets the same minimum balance or other eligibility qualifications. The financial institutions remit the interest at least quarterly to the IOLTA Board. 

11. Where do IOLTA funds 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.

Become A Platinum
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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