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If you are not using Epik.com for escrow, you are wasting time and money!

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Rob Monster

Founder of EpikTop Member
Epik Founder
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Special Program for NamePros members only: Process your escrow transaction via Epik.com using bank transfer or major crypto, with a domain name registered at Epik.com and we'll waive the escrow fee completely! No escrow fee. No cashout fee. No kidding.

NamePros members are switching to Epik.com for Domain Name Escrow. Here's why:

- Lowest Fees: NamePros members pay no minimum fees. For domains registered at Epik.com, escrow is FREE when your buyer pays via bank transfer or major crypto. Otherwise, escrow is as low as 1.5%!

- Fast closing: Escrow transactions with domains registered at Epik, paid with major crypto or bank deposit can typically be closed within hours. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

- Secure Transactions: Epik.com is the only full-service escrow agent that is also a full-service accredited registrar. Transfer in and out within minutes. If a transaction is cancelled, your domain is not in limbo-land!

- Flexible payment solutions: Pay or get paid via wire transfer, ACH, major crypto, credit card, PayPal, Transferwise or Western Union. We support all major currencies, domain swaps and scheduled payments.

There has never been a better time to move your domains to Epik.com and to choose our integrated solutions for domain marketplace and escrow services.

To get started on your escrow transaction, simply go here:

https://www.epik.com/services/escrow/

To discuss your portfolio or escrow transaction, contact us at [email protected], visit us Epik.com or phone us at +1.425-366-8810 or US toll-free at +1.888-894-9026.

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This is a sponsored post.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Most registrars have the option to hold people’s money in their accounts— this is not something new or nefarious and none of them are licensed escrow agents either. This whole license thing is not of importance to the average domainer. We care that the transaction goes smoothly and we get paid promptly and without hassle.

Escrow might be licensed but it is fraught with issues. The transactions I have done there were unpleasant because I had to chase my money down. Since then I deal with Undeveloped or a registrar as much as possible because I can count on them to pay me promptly.

PayPal is not licensed either as a financial institution and they hold people’s money all the time. Licenses don’t matter if service is poor.
 
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Before going further, if you feel the funds are the "Personal Property" that needs licensing, would you agree that domains are contractural property?

Regardless of the definition of the property being transacted, if the escrow company is not being examined regularly it's impossible to know that those funds would go to the seller if the company got into trouble.

PayPal is not licensed either as a financial institution and they hold people’s money all the time. Licenses don’t matter if service is poor.

PayPal is licensed as a money transmitter in the US States in which they operate, otherwise they'd be shut down.
 
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"Epik Escrow pays out in Masterbucks - an internal currency which can be used tax-free, and commission-free, for all Epik products and services. Masterbucks may be cashed out at a 5% fee"

"The standard escrow fee is 1.5% of transaction amount, with a $75 minimum."

There is a 5% hidden fee. The actual fee is 6.5% if the seller wants to withdraw. I don't mean 6.5% is high or low. I mean I don't like hidden fees. Because I automatically expect there might be more hidden surprises inside. You could openly ask for 6.5% fee for the service you sell. I could try it. But now I won't.
 
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Regardless of the definition of the property being transacted, if the escrow company is not being examined regularly it's impossible to know that those funds would go to the seller if the company got into trouble.

According to the law, only "transactions that involve personal property or real property" need to be escrow licensed. Domains do not fit in that definition and are not bound by escrow licensing.

All companies doing business are bound to consumer protection laws. In the event a business was using funds "in the stock market" instead of paying vendors or customers the business would be "examined" for criminal behavior. In addition all accreditation may be revoked as well. The "examination" aspect of your logic is done by existing laws, not licensing.

Further, generally a license protects the business and not the consumers. As an example a general contractor working on a home is bound by laws regardless if legally licensed or not. The only thing the license does is protect the contractors rights, not the home owners rights.
 
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According to the law, only "transactions that involve personal property or real property" need to be escrow licensed. Domains do not fit in that definition and are not bound by escrow licensing.

All companies doing business are bound to consumer protection laws. In the event a business was using funds "in the stock market" instead of paying vendors or customers the business could be "examined" for criminal behavior. In addition all accreditation may be revoked as well. The "examination" aspect of your logic is done by existing laws.

Further, generally a license protects the business and not the consumers. As an example a general contractor working on a home is bound by laws regardless if legally licensed or not. The only thing the license does is protect the contractors rights, not the home owners rights.

Again the funds are the personal property in question here.

Further, generally a license protects the business and not the consumers.

This may or may not be the case generally, but specifically as it relates to escrow licenses, each state's regulations require the escrow company to comply with a set of rules for how they handle other people's money. If the company is not a licensed escrow agent the buyer has no guarantee that their funds are being held safely.

The question "Are you licensed anywhere in the US?" should be as simple as a yes or no.
 
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The question "Are you licensed anywhere in the US?" should be as simple as a yes or no.
A license is great but consistent service is better.

I’ve done a huge amount of sales via your platform. Sometimes payment reaches me faster than expected. Other times, like right now, it’s nowhere to be found. Hiccups are understandable to a point but when they become the norm, it’s logical that customers will consider alternate avenues.
 
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Again the funds are the personal property in question here.

If you are making the argument that the exchange of "funds" needs escrow licensing than all transactions would need escrow licensing. Imagine going to the store and while waiting for your groceries to get bagged, after you pay, you ask for an escrow license.

Thankfully, that's not the case.

The question "Are you licensed anywhere in the US?" should be as simple as a yes or no.

In all fairness, if the question is completely irrelevant, does it require an answer?
 
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If you are making the argument that the exchange of "funds" needs escrow licensing than all transactions would need escrow licensing. Imagine going to the store and while waiting for your groceries to get bagged, after you pay, you ask for an escrow license.

If you are holding funds on behalf of a buyer and seller while a transaction completes as an escrow service, yes an escrow license is needed.

In your store example:
- If you pay with card, the credit card company that takes your payment will be licensed to those provide merchant services in that state because they are acting as an intermediary, handling funds on behalf of you (the buyer) and the store (the seller). The bank receiving those funds needs a banking license because they are holding the store's funds.
- If you paid in cash at the store, that cash goes straight from your possession to the store's possession with no other entity between so in that case there is no third party handling the funds.

An escrow license is relevant because it regulates how customer's funds are used. IRS 1031 Qualified Intermediary status is important for your tax return. In either case you should be able to get an answer out of the service you are using.
 
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If you are holding funds on behalf of a buyer and seller while a transaction completes as an escrow service, yes an escrow license is needed.

In your store example:
- If you pay with card, the credit card company that takes your payment will be licensed to those provide merchant services in that state because they are acting as an intermediary, handling funds on behalf of you (the buyer) and the store (the seller). The bank receiving those funds needs a banking license because they are holding the store's funds.
- If you paid in cash at the store, that cash goes straight from your possession to the store's possession with no other entity between so in that case there is no third party handling the funds.

An escrow license is relevant because it regulates how customer's funds are used. IRS 1031 Qualified Intermediary status is important for your tax return. In either case you should be able to get an answer out of the service you are using.
An escrow license is only required for "private property" and/or "real property." The law is very clear regarding.

Domain names are a contractural right or agreement, because of this classification there is no need for escrow licensing. Again, the law is very clear regarding.

Going further, an accredited registrar is best to handle the exchange of internet domains instead of a third, unrelated, party.

All funds are safe and secure using an accredited registrar, as consumer protection laws are holding accountability.

Funds are no safer with your firm because you have an escrow license. In fact, because you are an independent third party, that can't exchange and verify the contractural arrangement of domains, it could be argued that funds are less secure using your service.

The safest way for an internet domain exchange, for both buyer and seller, is to use an accredited registrar with services that cater to the desired transaction. Funds are safe and secure, bound by the laws protecting consumers.

Further, I am curious if you could point to a situation where having an escrow license benefitted a consumer? Would the consumer have been affected differently had you not had an escrow license?
 
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An escrow license is only required for "private property" and/or "real property." The law is very clear regarding.
The funds are the personal property in question here.

Further, I am curious if you could point to a situation where having an escrow license benefitted a consumer? Would the consumer have been affected differently had you not had an escrow license?
Absolutely - if you google "Escrow fraud" you will find hundreds of stories that fall into three categories:
i. Misappropriation of escrow funds
ii. Mingling of escrow & operational funds
iii. Inappropriate investment of escrow funds

Licensing audits are designed to catch this activity before a buyer loses money, but if there is no license then no licensing audit and there is no way for the buyer to know what is being done with their money.

We work with the BBB who regularly issue alerts about unlicensed or fake escrow services:
https://www.bbb.org/article/news-re...e-companies-working-together-in-escrow-scheme
 
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The funds are the personal property in question here.
We have been over this issue, I respectfully disagree after reviewing the law.
Licensing audits are designed to catch this activity before a buyer loses money, but if there is no license then no licensing audit and there is no way for the buyer to know what is being done with their money.
Sure fraud exists in all industries, licensed or not. I won't dispute that.

Although, specifically to internet domain names, it is good judgement and due diligence to use an accredited registrar to handle the exchange of a contractural right. An accredited registrar has the best resources for the contractural rights to be safely and securely exchanged, benefitting both buyer and seller. All funds bound by law.

Has Escrow ever thought about purchasing a registrar?
 
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Has Escrow ever thought about purchasing a registrar?

No, we focus on providing a licensed escrow service to our registrar and marketplace partners.

@Rob Monster if you are still following this thread, the question remains open as to whether Epik's escrow service operates with or without an escrow license in the state of Washington.
 
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No, we focus on providing a licensed escrow service to our registrar and marketplace

Oh, because right now it seems your focus is on a registrar that is focused on their customers. Either way, it's been a good talk. Thanks!
 
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PayPal is not licensed either

That's just not true.

https://dfi.wa.gov/consumers/verify-license

Company Name PayPal Inc
Trade Name XOOM, VENMO
License Number 550-MT-25647 (NMLS910457)
License Type Money Transmitter/Currency Exchangers
Physical Address
Main Phone Number
Status Current - Licensed
Bonding Company Information Electronic Surety Bond in NMLS Prior Bond Docs Imaged
Bonding Number 6266702
 
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In the US, the practice is typically referred to as a Section 1031 like for like exchange.

Well I guess Rob's not going to answer. My question is not about your escrow service, but about your shifting characterization of the transaction structure as a 1031 exchange.

First, the potato farming thing is not analogous to a 1031 like-kind exchange. The potatoes all belong to the farmer, and the farmer is not exchanging his potatoes for someone else's potatoes.

Be that as it may, there are a number of steps and timelines to qualify as a 1031 exchange for the IRS. Saying "there's never been a challenge" is kind of silly, given the relatively low probability of the IRS catching all manner of shenanigans, given the decimation of their ability to enforce the law in the last few years. It's like a bank robber saying "we've never been challenged" in a large city with two cops.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/business/economy/irs-tax-fraud-audit.html

Starting in 2011, Republicans in Congress repeatedly cut the I.R.S.’s budget, forcing the agency to reduce its enforcement staff by a third. But that drop doesn’t entirely explain the reduction in tax fraud cases.
...

“Due to budget cuts, attrition and a shift in focus, there’s been a collapse in the commitment to take on tax fraud,” said Chuck Pine, who used to be the third-ranking criminal enforcement officer at the I.R.S. and is now a managing director at BDO Consulting. “I believe there are thousands of individuals who have U.S. tax obligations and are not complying with U.S. tax laws.”

So, "there's never been a challenge" is a foolish argument.

But you have to make up your mind whether these are escrow transactions or 1031 like-kind exchanges.

The other stupid argument here is saying that "escrow only applies to real or personal property and domain names are not". Well, sure, you can say that if you want to, but if you are saying that domain names are not some form of "personal property", then domain transactions NEVER qualified for 1031 like-kind treatment in the first place - and they certainly don't after the 2017 tax act.

Rob's not paying attention to the revised IRS rules on 1031 exchanges, and his vague reference to unidentified "precedent" is irrelevant to the current IRS rules.

Anyone who thinks they are doing a 1031 exchange with domain names had better read what the IRS has to say, and not what Rob is peddling:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/smal...oyed/like-kind-exchanges-real-estate-tax-tips

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 1031 now applies only to exchanges of real property and not to exchanges of personal or intangible property. An exchange of real property held primarily for sale still does not qualify as a like-kind exchange. A transition rule in the new law provides that Section 1031 applies to a qualifying exchange of personal or intangible property if the taxpayer disposed of the exchanged property on or before December 31, 2017, or received replacement property on or before that date.

The ship on 1031 exchanges on domain names has sailed, and it sailed more than a year ago. Rob's understanding of 1031 exchanges is out of date and extremely bad advice. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you rely on Rob's statement that domain name trades can qualify for 1031 exchange treatment by the IRS, you can end up IN PRISON.

So, please, make up your mind. Either domain names are (or rather "were" until the code changed) "real property or personal property" subject to 1031 like-kind exchanges, or they are not. You can't say, for the purpose of 1031 exchanges that they are personal property, and for escrow transactions they are not personal property. But, again, it doesn't matter anyway, since domain names are certainly not real property, so anything Rob has to say about domain names and 1031 exchanges is completely wrong and misguided, and has been since December 2017.

And, finally, even if Epik was providing Qualified Intermediary services for 1031 exchanges, the State of Washington has the following laws which apply to 1031 exchange facilitators:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=19.310&full=true

19.310.040
Duties of exchange facilitator—Fidelity bonds.

(1) A person who engages in business as an exchange facilitator must:
(a)(i) Maintain a fidelity bond or bonds in an amount of not less than one million dollars executed by an insurer authorized to do business in this state for the benefit of a client of the exchange facilitator that suffers a direct financial loss as a result of the exchange facilitator's covered dishonest act. Such fidelity bond must cover the acts of employees of an exchange facilitator and owners of a nonpublicly traded exchange facilitator; or
(ii) Deposit all exchange funds in a qualified escrow account or qualified trust, as both terms are defined under treasury regulation section 1.1031(k)-1(g)(3), with a financial institution. If an exchange facilitator deposits exchange funds in a qualified escrow account or qualified trust:
(A) A withdrawal of exchange funds requires the exchange facilitator and the client to independently authenticate a record, as defined under RCW 62A.9A-102, of the transaction; and
(B) The client of the exchange facilitator must receive independently from the depository financial institution, by any commercially reasonable means, a current statement for verification of the deposited exchange funds; and
(b) Disclose on the company web site and contractual agreement the following statement in large, bold, or otherwise conspicuous typeface calculated to draw the eye: "Washington state law, RCW 19.310.040, requires an exchange facilitator to either maintain a fidelity bond in an amount of not less than one million dollars that protects clients against losses caused by criminal acts of the exchange facilitator, or to hold all client funds in a qualified escrow account or qualified trust that requires your consent for withdrawals. All exchange funds must be deposited in a separately identified account using your taxpayer identification number. You must receive written notification of how your exchange funds have been deposited. Your exchange facilitator is required to provide you with written directions of how to independently verify the deposit of the exchange funds. Exchange facilitation services are not regulated by any agency of the state of Washington or of the United States government. It is your responsibility to determine that your exchange funds will be held in a safe manner." If recommending other products or services, the exchange facilitator must disclose to the client that the exchange facilitator may receive a financial benefit, such as a commission or referral fee, as a result of such recommendation. The exchange facilitator must not recommend or suggest to a client the use of services of another organization or business entity in which the exchange facilitator has a direct or indirect interest without full disclosure of such interest at the time of recommendation or suggestion.
(2) An exchange facilitator must provide evidence to each client that the requirements of this section are satisfied before entering into an exchange agreement.
(3) Upon request of a current or prospective client, or the attorney general under chapter 19.86 RCW, the exchange facilitator must offer evidence proving that the requirements of this section are satisfied at the time of the request.

...

19.310.090
Administration of places of business—Direct management.

A person who engages in business as an exchange facilitator must administer each of his, her, or its places of business under the direct management of an officer or an employee who is either:
(1) An attorney or certified public accountant admitted to practice in any state or territory of the United States; or
(2) A person who has passed a test specific to the subject matter of exchange facilitation.

...

19.310.120
Prima facie evidence of fraud—Violations—Penalty—Cure for violations.

(1) Failure to fulfill the requirements under RCW 19.310.040 constitutes prima facie evidence that the exchange facilitator intended to defraud a client who suffered a subsequent loss of the asset entrusted to the exchange facilitator.
(2) A person who engages in business as an exchange facilitator and who knowingly violates RCW 19.310.100 (1) through (9) or fails to comply with the requirements under RCW 19.310.040 is guilty of a class B felony
under chapter 9A.20 RCW. However, an exchange facilitator is not guilty of a class B felony for failure to comply with the requirements under RCW 19.310.040 if: (a) Failure to comply is due to the cancellation or amendment of the fidelity bond by the bond issuer; and (b) the exchange facilitator:
(i) Within thirty days, takes all reasonable steps to comply with the requirements under RCW 19.310.040; and
(ii) Deposits any new exchange funds into a qualified escrow account or qualified trust until a fidelity bond is obtained that meets the requirements under RCW 19.310.040(1)(a)(i).

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Again, since domain names are not real property, and ONLY real property qualifies for 1031 like-kind exchange treatment, then it is somewhat academic to point out that if Epik is purporting to provide intermediary services for 1031 exchanges (and they certainly are performing the steps of selling the first property, holding the proceeds, and buying the second property), then if they had been doing so without complying with the requirements of Washington law, then Epik has been engaged in the commission of a felony under the relevant Washington law.

So, Rob, I have to ask you: Do you now or have you ever provided intermediary services for IRS 1031 exchanges in the State of Washington?

It's not a hard question, since you have made several references to transactions on the Epik platform qualifying as 1031 exchanges under the IRS code.
 
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It's usually a qualified CPA or tax lawyer who cites the IRS. I'm quite surprised others are so interested in the tax filing and tax procedures of a private company, especially without reviewing the many pages that would be filed.

But hey, this is domaining. So the unusual becomes the usual.:xf.smile:
 
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It's usually a qualified CPA or tax lawyer who cites the IRS. I'm quite surprised others are so interested in the tax filing and tax procedures of a private company, especially without reviewing the many pages that would be filed.

But hey, this is domaining. So the unusual becomes the usual.:xf.smile:

Hi

don't be surprised.
when I saw the title of this thread, my brain asked itself, does epik have an escrow service?
then..,my brow was raised, when @Jackson Elsegood asked:

Jackson Elsegood said:
whether Epik's escrow service operates with or without an escrow license in the state of Washington.

so, I got interested to read the answer

very happy Mr Berryhill @jberryhill posted that information and hope that members understand why he had to interject.

imo...
 
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"very happy Mr Berryhill posted that information and hope that members understand why he had to interject"

What he points out is the very complex tax codes and regulations that all individuals and businesses face. Tax filing's are unique and custom tailored to each individual or business by a qualified CPA or tax attorney. The last place you want to get tax advice, or IRS interpretation, is from a domain forum by unqualified people.

Maybe we can get back on topic for those who are truly interested in Epik's products, as this thread was intended.
 
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Maybe we can get back on topic for those who are truly interested in Epik's products, as this thread was intended.

Once there was a claim by Epik that sales could be "tax-free" there was bound to be a discussion here of tax to clarify what that means. Maybe the claim can benefit from some qualification or revision because it is pretty broad as it stands.
 
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Once there was a claim by Epik that sales could be "tax-free" there was bound to be a discussion here of tax to clarify what that means. Maybe the claim can benefit from some qualification or revision because it is pretty broad as it stands.

Again, tax laws and codes are unique to each individual or business.

Are there certain situations where a domain sale could be tax free? YES

However, it is best to consult with a qualified CPA or Tax attorney to look at your complete return to see if you would pertain to the qualification.

(Disclaimer: I am not a CPA or Tax attorney, and as of yet nobody that has contributed to this conversation is either)
 
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"very happy Mr Berryhill posted that information and hope that members understand why he had to interject"

What he points out is the very complex tax codes and regulations that all individuals and businesses face. Tax filing's are unique and custom tailored to each individual or business by a qualified CPA or tax attorney. The last place you want to get tax advice, or IRS interpretation, is from a domain forum by unqualified people.

Maybe we can get back on topic for those who are truly interested in Epik's products, as this thread was intended.

Tbh, most licensed attorneys are qualified to give tax advice. So it's not like he's just pulling things out of thin air.
 
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Tbh, most licensed attorneys are qualified to give tax advice. So it's not like he's just pulling things out of thin air.
Sure, just like an orthopedic doctor could diagnose your headaches. Or like how a helicopter pilot can fly a wide body jet across the Atlantic.
 
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Sure, just like an orthopedic doctor could diagnose your headaches. Or like how a helicopter pilot can fly a wide body jet across the Atlantic.

no, iz tru lel. there aren't special extra certifications for most fields of law lel. Lawyers get generally certified in a wide variety of legal fields when they pass the state bar and become admittd.

dats y contracts lawyers can jump into a criminal law case.

medicine =/= law lololol.
 
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no, iz tru lel. there aren't special extra certifications for most fields of law lel. Lawyers get generally certified in a wide variety of legal fields when they pass the state bar and become admittd.

dats y contracts lawyers can jump into a criminal law case.

medicine =/= law lololol.

From Study.com:

"Lawyers are qualified to practice any area of law once they graduate law school and pass the bar exam. However, many choose to specialize in limited areas of law. By specializing, they can develop expertise that makes them more effective in their chosen areas of law than general practice attorneys. Different specialties have unique requirements that play a significant role in the way a legal case is handled."
 
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Who owns this Epik? Its Chinese company?
 
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