Report: IRS.com Sold for $600,000

2

In a deal uncovered by George Kirikos and shared on Twitter, the IRS.com domain name was reportedly sold for $600,000:

In the SEC filing noted by George, the company stated the following about IRS.com:

“On June 11, 2018, we sold the IRS.com web domain to a company in which our former CFO has a significant ownership interest. The consideration consisted of a cash payment of approximately $0.6 million and assumed liabilities of approximately $0.1 million. We recognized a gain of approximately $0.6 million on the transaction which is reported in Other gain (loss) on our Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss).”

I am not exactly sure what the assumed liabilities of $100,000 are, but if I am reading it correctly, it would seem that the buyer paid $600,000 to buy IRS.com. It is unclear to me if the purchase included the business, website, or anything beyond the domain name. Update: As George Kirikos noted in a comment below, the value of this deal could be $700,000.

In looking at Screenshots.com, it would appear that the same active business was operating on IRS.com before and after the acquisition, so I am not sure if Ron Jackson will be able to chart this sale in his domain name sale report. Perhaps he can get additional information from the company’s Investor Relations team to see if it would qualify as a domain name sale. Should it qualify, it would be tied with Christian.com for the 5th largest sale of the year. That sale will likely be charted this week.

As one might imagine, there are potential risks associated with owning a domain name like IRS.com. The company mentioned the risks in its 2017 annual report:

“The application of new and existing laws and regulations to the Internet or other online services has had a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations in the past. For example, on April 17, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1677, The Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007 (“H.R. 1677”). Section 8 of H.R. 1677 would have amended Section 333, Title 31 of the U.S. Code to include Internet domain addresses in the prohibition on certain use of the U.S. Department of the Treasury names and symbols. Although the legislation was never passed by the Senate or signed into law and the bill ceased with the ending of the 110th Congress in January 2009, there is no guarantee that similar legislation won’t be introduced and passed into law by the current or future Congress. While the ultimate impact of any such proposed legislation is not presently determinable, if enacted, such legislation may adversely impact our overall operations. We own the Internet domain address US Tax Center at www.irs.com, which is an acronym commonly associated with the Internal Revenue Service, a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. While the bill was never passed into law, if enacted, the passage of such legislation could have severely adversely affected our use of our Internet domain address US Tax Center at www.irs.com as well as our overall operations. In the event a bill such as H.R. 1677 were to become law, we intend to continue to be diligent in our communications with the Internal Revenue Service and Congress in an effort to mitigate any potential negative effects of such legislation.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’d consider it to be a $700K transaction in terms of the value, rather than a $600K transaction. Remark Holdings (the seller) received $600K in cash, and they also had $100K in liabilities which were taken over by the buyer. $600K + $100K = $700K. The SEC filing didn’t say what those $100K in liabilities were, though (could be accounts payable, debt, or maybe it was $100K owed to the former CFO, or something else).

    Think about it like a real estate transaction. Suppose I have a mortgage of $100K on a property. A buyer comes along and offers $700K total for the property. Normally, the buyer would take the $700K, and use $100K of it to repay the mortgage on their own.

    The other way of doing the same deal, though, is that the buyer pays the seller just their “equity” in the property, i.e. $600K, and the buyer assumes the mortgage of $100K. It’s still a $700K deal, but is structured differently in terms of the financing.

    But, since the domain deal had that second structure, it’ll likely go uncharted on DNJournal.

Leave a Reply