Oak Island: Do the Laginas Have to Pay Taxes on the Treasures They Find?

Oak Island is a small wooded island located just off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is also the supposed site of a mysterious buried treasure that is connected with an ominous legend. The legend states that seven people must die in search of the treasure before Oak Island will give up her secrets and allow her riches to finally be found.

Up until a few years ago, not many people knew about the legend. Then the History Channel got hold of the story and began airing The Curse of Oak Island, which is now in its sixth season. The show focuses on two brothers, Rick and Marty Lagina, as they use modern technology and a lot of historical know-how to investigate the 220 year old Oak Island mystery.

This year has the makings of a remarkable one


According to the History Channel, this year promises to be a remarkable one for the treasure hunters. For starters, they made significant discoveries in multiple sites on the island in the previous year, which will guide their directions in this one.

It is also the fifty year anniversary of several significant events. It was fifty years ago that the young Lagina brothers read an article about Oak Island’s infamous money pit in the Reader’s digest. This single article would fuel the brother’s imaginations and direct their path towards where they are today.

On a less happy note, this year marks the fifty year anniversary of the infamous Restall Tragedy. This unfortunate tragedy claimed four of the six individuals said to have died as part of the island’s curse.

Is the Oak Island curse real?

Nobody can say for certain if the Oak Island curse is real. An article on The Blockhouse Blog states that the curse may already be fulfilled. After extensive research they found that fourteen people have been documented to have died on the island. Some of those, however, had simply settled there and died of natural causes.

How many did they find which supposedly died while directly searching for the treasure? Seven. They state that this means the curse, if it was ever real, may just have been fulfilled. But they don’t make clear who the seventh person who died while directly searching for the treasure is on their list of fourteen.

We know that six people died searching for the treasure

Although we can’t confirm who the seventh person is supposed to be, six of the deaths are well confirmed. The first occurred in 1861, when an unknown worker died when a boiler exploded. The second was Maynard Kaiser in 1897. He died when he fell down a shaft. The last four were part of the Restall Tragedy of 1965. Robert Restall, his son, Cyril Hiltz, and Carl Graeser died at the bottom of a mining shaft when it was overcome with bad air.

Do the Lagina brothers have to pay taxes on the treasure they find?

Rick and Marty Lagina
Rick and Marty Lagina | History Channel

Curses aside, the Lagina brothers have found some treasures. We wouldn’t say they’ve found the treasure, because nothing incredibly significant has been unearthed. But a few historical pieces here and a few gold bits there have found their way to the surface through the Lagina brothers’ incredible efforts.

But fans wonder whether the brothers have to pay taxes on all that treasure they’ve found. According to The Oak Island Treasure Act (2014), there are rules as to how treasure discoveries must be handled. The first thing which must be done is a written report for the Minister of Natural Resources which details when, how, and what. It must also provide a place where the treasure can be looked at by the minister.

As for payment? The act states a royalty must be paid, but it does not specify just how much it is. It’s exact wording is “Upon payment of a royalty at the rate prescribed by a license, the Minister may confirm to the holder the right to retain for the license holder’s own use and benefit any treasure discovered and recovered by the holder of the license within the area covered by the license.”