Samsung heirs to pay record $ 10 billion inheritance tax bill
Samsung Electronics’ family (005930.KS) Former President Lee Kun-hee, who died in October last year, will have to cough up 12 trillion won (£ 7.8 billion, $ 10.78 billion) in inheritance tax on his estate.
Lee’s heirs are his wife Hong Ra-hee, his son Jay-yong, vice president of Samsung Electronics, and his two daughters Boo-jin and Seo-hyun.
A November 2020 Report in The Korea Herald, said that “although Samsung Group has yet to disclose the deceased executive’s will or plan to bequeath the assets, these four will be the beneficiaries” under Korean law.
He added that Hong Ra-hee’s share of inheritance will be 50% more than that of the three children.
She will inherit 2.6 billion won in shares, while Jae-yong, Boo-jin and Seo-hyun will each receive 1.7 billion won in shares.
Lee Kun-hee’s estate includes stakes in Samsung Electronics (which, at the time of writing, was trading at 82,100 won) as well as smaller units such as Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung C&T.
Jay-yong, who according to the BBC has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since 2014, is currently in prison. He was sentenced to two years and six months for involvement in a corruption scandal linked to former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Boo-jin is the CEO of the Shilla Hotel. A subsidiary of Samsung, it operates luxury hotels and duty free shops.
Some reports have predicted that she could take over the empire, given that her brother is in prison. Forbes estimates his net worth at the moment is around $ 2 billion (£ 1.4 billion).
Her younger sister Seo-hyun oversees the Samsung Welfare Foundation, a charity founded by her father. She joined Cheil Industries, a Samsung group textile company, as a director in 2002. Forbes estimates her current net worth at $ 1.8 billion.
The BBC said the tax issue was being watched closely by investors as it could have affected the Lee family’s stake in Samsung, but they will have to wait for regulatory filings.
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Lee’s collection of 23,000 antiques and paintings will be donated to the National Museum of Korea among other cultural organizations. The media said it would reduce the family’s tax debt.
At 50%, South Korea’s inheritance tax rate is the second highest in the world, after Japan.