The press is a-buzz with the news of a hidden treasure of gold coins and bars discovered by a man who recently inherited a “plush” home in the ancient town of Evreux, in the Normandy region of France.
The heir had no idea of the riches hidden within the home until he began moving furniture that he was going to sell. This led to the discovery of a tin box full of gold coins screwed to the underside of a table. Next were a few coins hidden inside a box intended to hold a bottle of whiskey.
This set off a treasure hunt that uncovered gold in the linen closet, gold under the floorboards, even gold cunningly hidden in the bathroom. After all was said and done, the hoard totaled over 5,000 gold coins, two massive 12 kilo (26.4 lb) gold bars, and 37 one kilo (2.2 lb) gold bars, for 100 kg (220 lb) of fine gold in all. The massive cache was valued at €3.5 million ($3.7 million).
We say “was”, because the lucky man who discovered his deceased relation was apparently Scrooge McDuck quickly sold off the treasure before the find could become public. Luckily, the receipts for the giant treasure cache was found in the decedent’s papers, proving that the gold had been purchased legally.
Unluckily, the newly minted millionaire will be docked 45% of the proceeds from his golden fortune in estate taxes (on top of the 45% he’s already paid on the value of the home). And because the government will always go for two taxes instead of one, the heir will also be responsible for three years of back luxury tax, if his late relative had not been paying it.
On €3.5 million, that works out to approximately €24,690 in wealth tax a year, which is €74,000 for three years. This sum is in addition to the €1,575,000 in extra inheritance tax the man owes on the newly-discovered gold. These taxes will leave him about €1.85 million out of original €3.5 million.
I suppose the lesson here is, don’t let your relatives die in France!
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