The Curse of Oak Island – The Financial Consequences of Finding Treasure

‘The Curse of Oak Island’ continues fascinating fans season after season. The Lagina brothers and their team are truly ambitious in their endeavors to discover the legendary treasure of Oak Island.

So far, the only treasure they have discovered a couple of historical artifacts with questionable value and a gold nugget. Moreover, everyone wonders whether the curse is really a curse and if anyone will drop dead while filming the show. One other question which also remains is the potential tax ramifications of the find.

Moreover, the equipment and the time they spend on this quest costs money and the tax factor can be notable.

Likewise, the taxation rules of Oak Island are interesting and vague and the issues regarding taxes have been overlooked. The main point is whether the Lagina brothers will have to pay taxes and do they pay taxes on all of the findings. Another question then appears, which findings are taxable and how will the value of the findings be determined.

According to the Oak Island Treasure Act, which was passed in 2014, there are rules on every discovery. So, every finding must be reported to the Minister of Natural Resources in very specific detail, including when it was found, the type of the treasure, and the procedure used to find it. This is the first step, but there is more to it. The Minister should be able to physically see and identify the treasure, which officially confirms the discovery.

Likewise, the name of the place where the treasure is kept should also be included.

So, as soon as a certain treasure is identified and the value is assessed, the royalty has to be paid according to the Oak Island Treasure Act. However, the amount is unknown. Then, a license is issued where the amount of the royalty payment due is directed. The Minister is the one who arranges things about the taxation area. Thus, this seems to be more of a political issue rather than a financial one.

The Minister is able to grant the holder of the treasure the right to use it for proper purposes or sell it. The license comes with a number of details which set the limits for the type of find and the legal holding of the find. However, it doesn’t contain the assessment of the valuation of the find.

Not until the value of the find is determined, the value of it can be established. Moreover, if each find needs an individual license, the valuation process can be time-consuming. The Lagina brothers seem to be aware of all tax strategies when they discover a major find. Nevertheless, this is when it gets interesting. What happens if the taxes are charged on the basis of an initial valuation, but a higher valuation gets established a few months later. So, this is what happens with the Lagina brothers, who can pay fewer taxes due to the initial valuation. This all seems to be under the direction of the Minister under the Act.