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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Gains: disposal of found objects: not treasure: owned by landowner

If the object is found in or attached to the land and is not treasure then, in the absence of a claim by the original owner or heirs, it will belong to the landowner, see CG77540+. An object found on or after 24 September 1997 which has been disclaimed by the Crown under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996 is treated as if it had never been treasure, see CG77528.

A gain may arise on the disposal of the object.

The object is owned by the landowner because he or she owns the land on which it is found. So it will have been acquired when the land was acquired, even though it had not been found at that date. But no part of the cost of the land can be attributed to the object. When the land was acquired no-one was aware of the existence of the object and so no consideration will have been given for it.

If the land was held at 31 March 1982, rebasing applies so that a deduction may be available for the market value of the object at 31 March 1982, see CG16700+.

If the landowner and the finder enter into an agreement to divide the proceeds of sale of the object see CG77599.