South Korea’s Samsung Group announced on the 28th the inheritance of the late chairman Lee Ken-hee’s estate, his estate totaled 20 trillion won (about $17.9 billion), the amount of inheritance tax up to 12 trillion won (about $10.7 billion), will be transferred in batches since April.
Samsung Chairman Lee Ken-hee (second from right) passed away last year, leaving behind an estate worth nearly $21 billion
The Lee family issued a press release on the 28th saying, “Paying all tax liabilities is our duty and responsibility to do our national duty.” In addition to paying taxes, the Lee family intends to donate 1 trillion won to medical institutions and about 23,000 pieces of art. According to South Korean law, the heirs of the estate have to pay the tax burden for five years. The press release said the tax they have to pay is one of the highest in South Korea and the world, equivalent to three to four times the South Korean government’s total estate tax revenue last year.
The Samsung Group chairman Lee Ken-hee passed away last year, leaving behind nearly $21 billion worth of assets, mainly holdings in four Samsung Group subsidiaries, including a 4.2 percent stake in Samsung Electronics, a 3 trillion won art collection, and several pieces of real estate.
South Korea’s estate tax of 50% is one of the highest in the world, with the average for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries being about 15%. South Korean law allows for payment in six installments. LG Group Chairman Goo Kwang Mo and his sisters paid more than 900 billion won in inheritance taxes in this way.
The collection donated by the Lee family includes 60 artifacts classified as national treasures by the South Korean government, which will become the collection of the National Central Museum of South Korea. In addition, works by Chagall, Monet and Picasso will be donated to the National Museum of Modern Art in South Korea. If the Lee family does not donate these collections, they will have to pay the inheritance tax on these collections.