So you hit the storage auction jackpot? You found some priceless jewellery or gold bars? While it’s very rare, it does sometimes happen and people will find hundreds or millions of dollars worth of items in a storage unit. Much like winning the lottery, there are a few crucial next steps to take.
If you start running your mouth to everyone about the fortune you just found, you are liable to thieves and greedy friends and relatives. This isn’t the lottery, and nobody is going to print your name in the newspaper. You want to keep a low profile and get the valuables out asap, chances are someone is going to be missing it.
Take the valuables out, if it’s easily converted to cash, do so. If it needs to be appraised and auctioned off, choose your appraiser and auction house carefully. Next, choose a secure place to store it. A secure storage unit might be your best bet as they often carry insurance and your home isn’t as safe.
The CRA doesn’t play around when it comes to unreported income. If you convert your storage find into cash, make sure to declare it as income. You don’t want to risk being prosecuted, fined and maybe thrown in jail.
If your jackpot is considerable, or highly controversial, we suggest hiring legal counsel. They can tell you what exactly you need to do next. Having a lawyer in cases like this is always a good way to guard against possible other claims, or for advice in where to place or deal with the money.
Storage auctions can be exciting, but always be aware that most of them don’t contain much at all. Treat these like a casino, you may win or lose.