ICANN Tax Filing: Better Salaries and Big Savings Account – Domain Name Wire

The latest tax return reveals big salaries and a growing treasure chest.

ICANN filed its 2021 Form 990 (pdf), which is the nonprofit equivalent of a US tax return. The performance covers the 12-month period ending June 30, 2021. Here are some highlights:

  • Nine employees had total compensation of at least $500,000 and 16 of $400,000 or more
  • 141 independent contractors received at least $100,000. This includes businesses and people; Law firm Jones Day led the pack with nearly $9 million.
  • ICANN’s total lobbying cost was only $346,000 for the tax year
  • He now has a whopping $576 million in assets and just $21 million in liabilities. $442M of assets are in publicly traded securities

ICANN’s large savings account makes me wonder if it should stop accepting contributions. Of course, some of the assets are new TLD auction products intended to be spent on something in the future, and the organization has had budget shortfalls over the years. But ICANN raids the piggy bank of the auction when it needs money, so we’re effectively looking at a nonprofit with over half a billion in assets. The entities made $3.6 million in contributions last year. This amount is small compared to total income, but it raises issues of patronage when space companies participate with contributions. And do we really need reunion sponsors at this point?