HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) filed a complaint over taxreturn-hmrc.com and taxreturnhmrc.com, alleging that the domains were confusingly similar to the HMRC name.
Sole panellist Michael Cover found that the original registrant, whose name has been redacted due to the likelihood that the domain was filed through a stolen identity, had been used to display pay-per-click advertising.
“It is a reasonable inference that the respondent was aware of the complainant’s well-known HMRC trademark when it registered the disputed domain names,” Cover said.
“There is no evidence that the respondent has used or prepared to use the disputed domain names and nor is there any evidence that the respondent was commonly known by the disputed domain names, so those avenues are not available to the Respondent, not least because of the passive use of one disputed domain name and the link to pay-per-click advertising in relation to the other.”
In recent years, HMRC has had problems with phishing emails sent out from third parties to UK citizens that scam them into providing details with the promise of a tax rebate.