#Hot Issues of the Week l 2021-05-02
Late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s family has announced that they will pay more than 12 trillion won in inheritance tax. That’s nearly half of the financial worth Lee left behind, which is estimated at 26 trillion won, including 19 trillion won in stocks, as well as real estate and his art trove. On behalf of the family, Samsung said in a press release Wednesday that most of Lee's massive art collection will be donated along side an additional one trillion won for medical research and combating pediatric cancer.
The so-called “Lee Kun-hee Collection” is made up of tens of thousands of artworks, including Picassos and Dalis, as well as Korean national treasures like the Joseon-era landscape painting, "Inwang Jesaekdo."
The family said on Wednesday they would donate 23-thousand pieces from the patriarch's personal collection, reducing the total amount of taxable assets he left behind.
They will also give away one-trillion won for combating infectious diseases and childhood cancer.
Nonetheless, their combined inheritance tax bill comes in at an astronomical 12 trillion won, or nearly ten-point-eight billion dollars. That’s more than three times the annual estate tax revenue in Korea last year.
The Lee family said they will pay the tax in six installments over the next five years.
Lee died in October last year, survived by his wife, two daughters and son, Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics vice chairman and the de-facto leader of Samsung Group.
The corporate heir is currently serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for a 2016 corruption scandal involving impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Holding only point-seven percent of Samsung Electronics, the scion controls the business empire through circular shareholding over Samsung C&T, Samsung Life Insurance and then Samsung Electronics.
Analysts predicted the late tycoon’s stocks must have further solidified his son's control over Samsung, but the family did not explain who is inheriting how much.