Ok so you know how the old story goes, where a man finds a briefcase full of money...? Well, thats kind of my situation. Heres the story, I fish 4 days per week. I went out to a local lake less than a month ago and started bass fishing back in some old abandoned channels when i noticed a really nice luggage bag that had been washed up into the cat tails and tall brush, it was so far back through the lilypads that i couldnt get my boat to it without it being a huge hassle. So i left it and continued on fishing. 2 weeks later, the lake water level was lowered, and most of the vegetation was dead. I went back to the same spot to catch some more fish and see if it was still back there. I got back to the spot and i was able to beach the boat due the low water. Luggage was still there. I got out and walked on shore to go get it and see if it was in good shape or not.
As soon as i grabbed it, i knew there was stuff in it. I just expected someones wet clothes and some toiletries to be in there. There was nothing but a portable brown safe. I got home opened it up (it was very cheaply made, but retained no water) and in it there was a blank notepad, a pen, and a large sum of money. It was wrapped in rubber bands in stacks of 1000 and then 5 of those stacks were banded into one, were talking tens of thousands of dollars but less than 100,000 . Half of it is large denominations, and the other half is 20 dollar bills. I looked through it all and the most current bill is dated to last year. So it couldnt have been there over a year.
So thats pretty much it. To be honest, i havent told anyone for several reasons, mainly cuz i dont wanna have to give it up under some stupid law.
But now, i am slowly realizing that i want to put it into a bank, and i dont want this freak streak of luck to come back and bite me in the ass. Heres the questions..
I have no idea if it is legal for me to keep the money.... is it?
If so, will i need to be taxed on it?
Do i need to contact the IRS before putting it into a bank?
I have no idea how to go about this. I dont want to put a bunch of money thats unaccounted for, into the bank and then wait for people (such as IRS) to come around asking questions, and then figure out that im in the wrong somehow. I would rather deal with it the right way while the situation is still semi fresh.
I appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.