The $10 million stash of gold coins a couple in California found while walking their dog is a big bonanza for Uncle Sam, tax experts say. Most of the money they make from selling the coins will be taxed at the highest level, meaning state and federal taxes will eat up almost half of what the coins the couple discovered on their property are worth, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The couple could try to argue that the find should be taxed as a capital gain, but it would be a tough case to win, and legal proceedings would make their names public, potentially bringing a flood of treasure-hunters to their property, an accountant says. "They are going to pay the ordinary income tax and be happy with it," he predicts. Treasure troves have long been considered taxable income, including in a famous 1964 case where a couple who found $5,000 in a used piano they bought for $15 came to the attention of the IRS, Forbes notes. (More gold coins stories.)