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Old 28 February 2014, 05:13 PM
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Default Couple finds $10 million in buried treasure while walking dog

A trove of rare Gold Rush-era coins unearthed in California last year by a couple as they walked their dog may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States, worth more than $10 million.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A1P03M20140226
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Old 28 February 2014, 07:32 PM
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I have wondered since I heard about this--is there any possibility that these coins are from a robbery or crime? The preponderance of coins of a single date make me wonder.


Ali
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Old 28 February 2014, 08:04 PM
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I'm going to start digging up my yard now...
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Old 28 February 2014, 09:49 PM
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Read This!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
I have wondered since I heard about this--is there any possibility that these coins are from a robbery or crime? The preponderance of coins of a single date make me wonder.
If so, it's not a recent theft:

Quote:
...were minted between 1847 and 1894, [and discovered] in a variety of 19th-century metal cans...
They don't say if anyone has researched the historical property records to see who had owned the piece of land during that period, but I'm sure it could be done. Maybe the landowner's identity would give a clue to why they were hidden.
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Old 03 March 2014, 03:46 PM
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Rabbit Couple's gold discovery will be taxed at top federal rate

SFGate article

Quote:
In its 2013 tax guide, the IRS states, "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."
You may want to think again about digging up the yard. Or else, make small discoveries over time.
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Old 03 March 2014, 04:34 PM
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Meh. If I find $10 million in my yard, I wouldn't mind giving the govt $4million, so I can keep $6 million. The alternative is to somehow dig $100K/per year over 100 years. Instead, I could stick the $6 million in a lousy 2% interest account, and draw 100K a year + taxes on the interest. At the end of 100 years, I will have $2 million left in my account. If I can invest the $6 million at 3%, I have $12 million at the end of 100 years

Never underestimate the power of compound interest . It's better to pay taxes on money if it means you can leverage it now.
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Old 03 March 2014, 04:38 PM
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The big problem is that the IRS thinks it is worth and what you can actually get are two different numbers. Sometimes very different numbers.

I would not be surprised if the IRS will use the value of the gold content base on price the day the coins were found and to bad if gold is worth a lot less today. They could also use the collectors value they were sold for at the last auction, not considering adding 1,400 coins to the market may lower the value somewhat.
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Old 03 March 2014, 04:51 PM
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But if you sell it for a "loss", then wouldn't the difference between the initial value and the sale value would be a deduction that you could use to get a refund of the initial tax?
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Old 03 March 2014, 07:14 PM
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It has been a long time since I studied tax law, especially this aspect, but I am pretty sure the IRS will accept a valuation established by a free and fair sale. No sales to your spouse for 1/10 the expected value. But an auction that was adequately advertised would set the value. And the auction expenses should be deductible.

In this case, the nominal value of the coins could not be used because the value of the gold (and other metals?) in them is worth more than the denominated value, and even the value of the gold is probably not as much as the coins have as collectibles. Or maybe not on the latter point. That makes a sale the preferred route for establishing a value, as the value of collectibles is very fluid, and you could litigate with the IRS for years and lose whatever you hoped to gain, even if you win.
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Old 04 March 2014, 04:51 PM
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All that said, the double eagle twenty dollar gold piece is pretty iconic as coins go. It would be neat, if expensive to own one.

I think the idea that someone buried the coins for safekeeping, and then never came back is probably a good argument. Even if the coins came from a robbery, possibly (I don't the history of insurance on this) the victim received some compensation at the time.

I am with Mad Jay on the taxes, sort it out and pay them. Still a lot left.

Alie
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Old 04 March 2014, 06:57 PM
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$10M in gold coins found in yard might be linked to 1899 heist

Quote:
'The coins may have been stolen during a heist at the San Francisco Mint in 1899. Roughly the same amount of gold was stolen,' Good Morning America reports.
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