IOLTA Information for Financial Institutions

The Oklahoma Supreme Court created the Oklahoma IOLTA program in 1983 as a mechanism to provide greater access to the civil justice system, law-related education, and other important law-related programs and projects that benefit Oklahomans. The Oklahoma Bar Foundation administers the Oklahoma Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) Program.

The Oklahoma Bar Foundation IOLTA program is mandatory for lawyers and law firms pursuant to an order entered in 2004 by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.  Only financial institutions that have been certified by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation to be eligible to participate in the program, and then approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association Office of General Counsel may participate in the program.

The IOLTA program is an innovative way to provide access to legal services and law-related education  throughout the State. When an attorney or law firm receives client funds that are too small in amount or funds expected to be held for too short a time to earn net income, these funds are placed in a pooled interest-bearing IOLTA bank account. The interest earned on these accounts is remitted by financial institutions to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation IOLTA program, which provides grants to eligible law-related charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. The IOLTA trust account is an interest-bearing account for pooled client funds and pays all interest earned to the IOLTA program administered by the OBF, an IRS code 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Financial institutions throughout Oklahoma and the nation partner with attorneys to promote public good though IOLTA programs. The Oklahoma Bar Foundation thanks those financial institutions who participate in this important charitable program.

  • Summarized instructions to both the attorney and the bank are contained within the IOLTA Compliance Statement Form, which is the official enrollment form. The original is to remain on file with the bank and a completed copy is to be forwarded to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation IOLTA Office.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact the OBF IOLTA Office at (405) 416-7070 should you have additional questions or need other information.

Current Financial Institution Guidelines for IOLTA Program Participants

  • Effective January 1, 2023, all financial institutions that wish to participate in the Oklahoma IOLTA Program and receive authorization to offer IOLTA accounts to lawyer and law clients, must have completed the following documents and submitted them to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. If your institution is certified and approved, you will receive notice of your approved status.
  • The lawyer or law firm customer must provide your institution with an “IOLTA Compliance Statement” enrollment form, instructing your institution to establish a new interest-bearing IOLTA trust account or to convert an existing trust account.
  • The Oklahoma Bar Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organ­ization.  Treasury Reg. Section 1.6049-4(c)(1) provides that an information re­turn is not required with respect to payments made to an organization exempt from taxation.  Payments that are not subject to information re­porting are not subject to backup withholding, and an IRS Form 1099INT is not required.  A signed Form W-9 certifying that the OBF is exempt from backup withholding will be provided upon request.
  • The tax identification number of the Oklahoma Bar Foun­dation is:   73-0710244.  Financial institutions should place IOLTA participant accounts into non-tax or exempt status within the institution’s computer system.  Financial institutions that lack the capability to override or prevent the creation of Forms 1099INT on exempt IOLTA accounts should show “Oklahoma Bar Foundation, IOLTA” as recipient of the interest earned by the account, and show the address and taxpayer identification number of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation on the Form 1099INT.
  • The term “IOLTA” should appear in the account’s styling for deposit insurance coverage.  However, the term IOLTA should not appear on other account paperwork.
  • Interest earned by an IOLTA account must be remitted directly to the OBF.  Interest earned by the IOLTA participant account must not be paid to the attorney/law firm or client and should not be included in the gross income of the attorney/law firm or client.  Payment of the interest to the OBF does not constitute a charitable contribution deductible by the attorney/law firm or client.  See Rev. Rul. 87-2, 1987-1 CB 18.
  • Interest should be remitted/reported monthly or at least quarterly by a financial institution through the IOLTA Secure File Transfer Remittal Portal.  The reporting method used should remain consistent for each individual lawyer/law firm IOLTA depositor within your in­stitution.
  • Remittal reports must be made electronically through the IOLTA Secure File Transfer Remittal Portal.
  • The remittal report should be submitted even for periods when no interest is earned, at least quarterly, so the OBF is aware that a report on the account was made and not accidentally overlooked.
  • The Foundation should be notified in writing if an IOLTA account is terminated or upon a change in any IOLTA ac­­­­­­count.
  • If your financial institution is remitting for multiple lawyers/firms, please report information separately on each lawyer/firm account, but the payment to the OBF may be in a lump sum.  Any allowable reporting or payment bank fees netted must only be applied to the account incurring the fee and must not be offset against another participant lawyer or law firm account (negative netting from other accounts is not acceptable).
  • Interest earned should be remitted/reported at least quarterly by ACH to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, IOLTA. Please forward any changes relating to your financial institution name, address & contact information and account information corrections, changes and/or account status to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, IOLTA.
  • Contact the Oklahoma Bar Foundation office for questions on electronic reporting instructions, IOLTA reporting forms, or other matters..

Oklahoma Bar Foundation, IOLTA

P O Box 53036

Oklahoma City OK  73152

Phone: (405) 416-7070