- Hefty Bill For South Korea’s Richest Family In Inheritance Tax
- Family which owns Samsung will pay more than $ 10 billion in death duties
- The amount of death duties is one of the world’s biggest ever inheritance tax settlements
The heirs to South Korea’s Samsung group announced their plans to pay over $ 10 billion in death duties, on Wednesday, which makes it one of the world’s biggest inheritance tax asettlements ever.
The Lee Family will even donate their Picasso and Monet artworks.
Lee Kun-hee, the late Chairman of Samsung Electronics was the country’s richest man when he died last October at age 78 after being hospitalised for years, leaving an estimated 22 trillion won ($19.6 billion) in assets.
South Korea has one of the most strict inheritance tax laws and high rates, resulting in a hefty bill for the richest family in the country, including Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who is currently in jail for bribery, embezzlement and other offences.
In a statement, Sumsung said that Lee’s family “expects to pay more than 12 trillion won in taxes related to inheritance, which is more than half of the value of the late Chairman’s total estate”.
The statement also said, “The inheritance tax payment is one of the largest ever in Korea and globally,” saying the Lee family will pay it off in six instalments starting from this month.
The assets will including shareholdings in Samsung Electronics, Samsung Life and Samsung C&T, as well as real estate, as per the statement from the company.
The late chairman also left a trove of antiques and artworks reportedly worth anywhere between 2 and 3 trillion won.
Close to 23,000 pieces from Lee’s collection will be donated, said Samsung, which will include 14 items classed as National Treasures that will be showcased at the National Museum of Korea.
The company’s statement added that the works will include artists Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin as well as Claude Monet, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali which will be donated to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
According to reports, the art donations reduce the tax liability of the family.
Another 1 trillion won will be donated to health causes, of which one-half will be spent on building the South Korea’s first specialist infectious diseases hospital.
Samsung – whose flagship subsidiary is among the world’s biggest smartphone and computer chip manufacturers – is by far the largest of the family-controlled empires known as chaebols that dominate business in South Korea which is the world’s 12th biggest economy.
Other well known Chaebols of South Korea include Doosan, Hyundai, and LG.
The conglomerate (Samsung) is crucial to the South’s economic health as its overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth (20%) of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The late chairman’s eldest son and the Samsung group’s de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong was jailed in January after a sprawling corruption scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-hye.
He is undergoing a separate trial over stock manipulation, which, as per the critics, was key to ensuring a smooth succession of power within the conglomerate. Last May, Lee apologised for some governance issues at the group, pledging to ensure “there will be no more controversy over the succession” and added that he would not allow his children to take over from him at the firm