The family of former Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee has announced that they will pay the massive inheritance tax bill of USD 10.78 billion or 12 trillion Korean won. The inheritance tax on the estate, which is valued at over 20 billion, is the largest in the history of not only South Korea but globally. So much so that it is equivalent to almost three to four times the total estate tax revenue of the government last year. The family of Lee Kun-hee said that they pay the full amount of inheritance tax provided under the law. “The inheritance tax will be paid over a period of five years and it will begin from this month,” the Lee family said.
The former Samsun Electronics chairman passed away in October last year. He was 78 years old. Lee Kun-hee is credited for transforming the company into the largest conglomerate in South Korea. He was at the helm of affairs in 1987 following the death of his father. The conglomerate was founded by his father Lee Byung-chul. His estate is reportedly valued at around USD 23.4 billion or around 26 trillion won, including shareholdings in Samsung affiliates valued at USD 17 billion. The ownership of stocks is as follows – 20.76 percent stake in Samsung Life Insurance, 4.18 percent of common shares, and 0.08 percent of preferred shares in Samsung Electronics.
Meanwhile, the family has shared details about their philanthropic plans. They said that the family will donate 1 trillion won to medical and health-care and causes. The plan also includes gifts of 23,000 works from art collection to South Korean museums. “The collection of antiques and western paintings of late chairman will be donated to organizations,” the family said. “In recognition of Lee’s passion for art collection, we have decided to this. We are trying to carry forward his belief in the importance of passing on cultural heritage.”