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long time lurking

What would you do

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I'd be tempted to say nothing, but on analysis it might be difficult to get away with -- 500,000 worth of gold isn't easy to sell without paperwork.  Even if you sold it a bit at a time, you'd still be talking about several £10ks worth of sales each year, which wouldn't be that easy without questions being asked.

In the end it might not work out so badly for the finder.  They'll get 50% (they should get 50% as that is the general rule about finders; the college get the other 50% as owners of the piano) as reward, and as far as I can tell a treasure reward isn't taxed.  (if it wasn't treasure and they kept and sold it, it would be taxable as a capital gain).

[if the reward is taxed then they'd definitely be better off keeping quiet, even with all the hassles]

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33 minutes ago, hotairmail said:

I'd like to buy Errol's house one day. Spend the rest of my days looking for secreted gold.

I'd like to break in to his house and adorn it with Putin themed gay pride paraphernalia 

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4 hours ago, dgul said:

I'd be tempted to say nothing, but on analysis it might be difficult to get away with -- 500,000 worth of gold isn't easy to sell without paperwork.  Even if you sold it a bit at a time, you'd still be talking about several £10ks worth of sales each year, which wouldn't be that easy without questions being asked.

In the end it might not work out so badly for the finder.  They'll get 50% (they should get 50% as that is the general rule about finders; the college get the other 50% as owners of the piano) as reward, and as far as I can tell a treasure reward isn't taxed.  (if it wasn't treasure and they kept and sold it, it would be taxable as a capital gain).

[if the reward is taxed then they'd definitely be better off keeping quiet, even with all the hassles]

Look at it this way - the crown/government gets their 'take' only because their ancestors killed a lot of people, including your ancestors, to grab what wealth they wanted.

I see no moral reason why they should have any.  The moral thing to do would to have kept it quiet and given some to charity, some to yourself, and dropped some off anonymously through the letterbox of the doners.

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Tough decision, but the actual owner is long dead, so would you really be steeling it?

 

Would be fascinating to know who it was, they had a good saving strategy and the gold has preserved its value.  Just a shame they weren't able to pass it on, maybe they died suddenly or something.

 

It would also be interesting to know how rich you had to be to accrue that amount of gold in Victorian / Edwardian Britain.

 

If the actual owner were alive today they would be on HPC!

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On 20/04/2017 at 2:51 PM, dgul said:

I'd be tempted to say nothing, but on analysis it might be difficult to get away with -- 500,000 worth of gold isn't easy to sell without paperwork.  Even if you sold it a bit at a time, you'd still be talking about several £10ks worth of sales each year, which wouldn't be that easy without questions being asked.

In the end it might not work out so badly for the finder.  They'll get 50% (they should get 50% as that is the general rule about finders; the college get the other 50% as owners of the piano) as reward, and as far as I can tell a treasure reward isn't taxed.  (if it wasn't treasure and they kept and sold it, it would be taxable as a capital gain).

[if the reward is taxed then they'd definitely be better off keeping quiet, even with all the hassles]

Yes, it would be difficult. If you went through any reputable and/or regulated route, you'd get picked up by the controls in place to spot money laundering. 

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On 20/04/2017 at 10:25 PM, 24 year mortgage 8itch said:

I'd like to break in to his house and adorn it with Putin themed gay pride paraphernalia 

When you break in, be careful, his mother might be a formidable woman. I'm picturing the Russian woman who had daggers sticking out of her shoes in a Bond film. You could study how Sean Connery defeated her. 

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