Couple who found USD 10 mn in gold coins may have to pay half to taxman

California: A California couple who discovered $10 million worth of gold coins while walking their dog on their property in Gold Country, the greatest ever buried treasure find in the United States, could lose nearly half of their windfall in tax.

According to a 1969 court ruling those who find a treasure trove in the US must pay tax on it in the year it is unearthed.

According to guidelines from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): “If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure trove) it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession.”

Because the coins were found in 2013, tax on their estimated value is due by April 15, 2014, and if the couple don’t pay up by then they could face extra fines. In total they will have to pay around 47 per cent of the $10 million in tax.

The find
Around 1,400 mint condition gold coins, dating to the mid-to-late 1800s, were discovered in eight decaying metal cans in Northern California’s so-called Gold Country, where the 1849 Gold Rush took place earlier this week. The finders want to remain anonymous amid fears of having their property swamped by treasure hunters.

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