A couple's recent discovery of $10 million worth of buried coins will be considered income and thereby, taxable. Rob Wood, tax attorney in San Francisco, California with Wood, LLP says that these types of "treasure troves," are no exception as virtually everything is income. Fair market value is now being debated in terms of these coins and to his knowledge, no tax has been levied yet, meaning the government hasn't shown up demanding tax on this, as they wouldn't until the couple has filed their tax return reflecting this income. That's where the "rubber meets the road," Wood says.
Recently, some Nazi art was found in Germany and if the original owner was to get that back, it wouldn't be income to them because it's returned property, Wood says, and in either of these strange circumstances, tax advice should be sought out. People do quite innocently not think about this.
There are circumstances where it can't be ignored, such as winning the lottery and there are even debates over collector baseballs that are caught at baseball games. Wood says that even the IRS has waffled about what to do on this.
For more information on the article written in Forbes magazine about this, click here. Robert Wood is a tax attorney with Wood, LLP in San Francisco, California and spoke with The Tax Law Channel, an affiliate of The Legal Broadcast Network. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.