Each individual Oxford House, using its unique FEIN (Federal Employers Identification Number) establishes a checking account in the name of the house.  This section of the web site provides the forms for [1] getting a FEIN for the house so as to be able to open a checking account in a bank, [2] a memo to help banks understand what Oxford Houses are and how they establish accounts, and [3] information about how to make regular voluntary contributions to Oxford House World Services.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service assigns FEIN numbers.  Download a blank SS4 form to file an Application for Employer Identification Number.  A sample SS4 form can be downloaded as a pdf as well.  Complete the form and then telephone 1-800-829-4933 to immediately get the FEIN number to enter in the upper right hand corner of the form.  Then make a copy (IRS may ask you to send the original copy to them).  You can then take the completed form to the bank to open an account.  Remember to get the FEIN number first.

You may want to download the pdf Guidelines for Banks to bring with you.  It answers many of the questions that bank employees sometimes have when setting up an Oxford House account. 

The President, Treasurer and Comptroller of the house should be the authorized signatories on the checks.  The bank will have a signature card to fill out when the account is established.  When new officers are elected, the new officers should immediately complete a new signature card.     

All bills for rent to the landlord, utilities or any other purpose should be paid by check.  Remember that every check should be signed by two of the three individuals authorized to sign checks.  

The equal share of expense payments by house members should be deposited in the checking account as soon as possible and a deposit slip should be given to the treasurer to note the deposit in the checkbook register so that residents will always know how much money is in the account.   Before each weekly meeting the Treasurer should prepare the financial report for the meeting.  Remember to balance the checkbook – including any service fees charged by the bank – so that everyone in the house knows the finances of the house.  

Some houses establish a savings account so that they will have a reserve or raining day fund in case of future financial problems.  The advantage of a savings account is that it can accumulate interest while a checking account does not.  Of course it is not a good idea to hoard money in a saving account because it can become tempting for someone going into a relapse to steal the money.  If the house has a savings account, the Treasurer must include it in the report to the weekly house meeting.

Many houses use the “automatic voluntary contribution program” to Oxford House World Services.  Each year at the annual convention, houses that contribute at least $50 a month are awarded the “Director’s Hundred Year Award” – so named to emphasize the fact that with bottom to top financing, Oxford House will continue to expand and have resources to last a hundred years or more.  You may use the Electronic House Donation Form to have your bank institute an automatic electronic contribution to help finance Oxford House World Service.