Information for Financial Institutions on Opening and Handling IOLTA/IOTA Accounts

Account Title

The name of the attorney, title agent, or firm name and address, along with "IOLTA" or "IOTA" should appear in the title of the account. The name of the account may contain additional identifying information to distinguish it from other accounts.

Federal Tax Identification Number

The federal tax identification number assigned to all Ohio IOLTA and IOTA accounts is 31-1126612. Financial Institutions should not assign the tax identification number of the lawyer or title agent, law firm, title company, or their client depositors. 1099-INT reporting is not required. If IRS 1099 reports cannot be suppressed by the financial institution's system, then the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation should be listed as the owner of the tax identification number.

Account Type

If money market, business investment, or sweep accounts are not available, or the deposits are insufficient to meet the minimum deposit requirements of money market, business investment, or sweep accounts at the depository institution, then IOLTA and IOTA accounts should be established as an interest-bearing checking account. While not mandatory, many institutions have found that by assigning a specific account type to all IOLTA/IOTA accounts, they can avoid potential problems with the unique reporting requirements of these accounts. All account funds must be subject to withdrawal or transfer upon request and without delay, or as soon as permitted by law. The rate of interest payable on the account shall not be less than the rate paid by the financial institution to its regular depositors.

Account Notification

Once an account is opened, it is the responsibility of the attorney or title agent to notify the Foundation that the account has been established. Lawyers and title agents can visit the Foundation's website to register new or existing accounts.

Service Charges

A financial institution may waive service charges on IOLTA/IOTA accounts. The financial institution may impose reasonable fees. For each lawyer, title agent, or firm account, a financial institution may deduct reasonable service charges and fees from the interest earned on that account. For example, an institution may deduct a reasonable monthly maintenance charge or a check and/or deposit charges from the interest. Financial institutions may not aggregate interest earned and service charges on all IOLTA/IOTA accounts and remit the balance, thereby causing positive net accounts to subsidize negative accounts.

Interest Rates

Ohio law requires that the rate of interest payable on an IOLTA/IOTA account shall not be less than the rate paid by the financial institution to its regular depositors. The rate may be higher if there is no impairment of the right to immediate withdrawal or transfer of the principal. If a tiered rate for larger balances is offered on similar accounts, it should also be offered for IOLTA/IOTA accounts. Similarly, interest should be calculated and disclosed in accordance with an institution's standard practice and as required by Federal Reserve Board Regulation DD (Truth-In-Savings Act).

Statutory Provisions for Financial Institutions

Provisions on IOLTA/IOTA accounts for financial institutions are fully set out in Ohio Revised Code Section 4705.10.

Remittance of Account Proceeds

If your financial institution participates in the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, then it is required to use the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) method to make payments of interest to the Treasurer of State. The Form Agreement for IOLTA/IOTA Payments Made by Electronic Funds Transfer must be completed and mailed to the State Treasurer's Office to initiate this payment method. The State Treasurer's Office will provide instructions on establishing EFT once the Form Agreement for IOLTA/IOTA Payments Made by Electronic Funds Transfer has been processed.

Remittance Report Forms

In the event a financial institution does not participate in the ACH Network, and a check remitting payments of interest is issued, the financial institution must provide the IOLTA/IOTA Summary Remittance Form along with the payment to the State Treasurer. The Financial Institution should download the template to accompany proceeds by check to the Treasurer of State. At the time the payment of interest is made to the Treasurer of State, simultaneously, the Summary Remittance Form and Remittance Detail forms are to be forwarded to the Foundation. See Electronic Remittances information for instructions and methods.

Is there someone I can call for help?

Yes, you can reach Foundation personnel by calling locally 614-715-8560 or toll free at 1-800-877-9772. You can also email the Foundation at: mail@olaf.org

Electronic Remittances

What are electronic remittals?

To improve accuracy and eliminate the data entry process, the Foundation has instituted electronic forms for use in remitting IOLTA/IOTA monthly account statements. An Excel template is provided for download from the Foundation web site that provides a simple means of electronically transmitting individual accounts.

Statement Preparation

The financial institution should download the template. Once the template is downloaded, a master copy is saved by the institution. Each month, a copy of the master template is updated with current information and uploaded to the Foundation's website located in the top right hand corner of this page, under Financial Institution Login. Username and password will be sent to the financial institution when they become eligible to participate in the IOLTA/IOTA program.