Web Desk. Samsung founder Lee Kun Hee died last year at the age of 78 after a long illness. Now his heirs have announced that they are willing to pay 12 trillion won (around $11 billion) in inheritance tax on the distribution of Lee Kun Hee assets.
Lee Kun Hee transformed Samsung into the world’s largest smartphone company, with a fortune of $21 billion at the time of his death on October 25, 2020. Along with Samsung, the assets include an Art Collection worth 3 trillion won (around $2.70 billion) and some real estate.
This inheritance tax is the largest in the world and could potentially weaken family control over Samsung as a result. Lee Kun’s family said they plan to pay the tax in six installments over the next five years, starting April 2021.
The family said in a statement, “As citizens, it is our responsibility and duty to pay all taxes.” The statement did not specify how Lee Kun Hee shares would be distributed or sold to the family, nor did it say how the payments would be made.
However, under South Korean law, an individual’s heirs are allowed to pay such taxes for up to five years. Inheritance worth more than 3 billion won (around $2.7m) in South Korea is subject to 50% tax.
But the amount of tax that Samsung’s successors have to pay is unprecedented, as Samsung’s inheritance tax is three to four times higher than the South Korean government’s revenue from state taxes last year.
The Lee family will also donate thousands of works of art, 60 of which have been designated national treasures by the South Korean government and will be housed at the National Museum of Korea. Similarly, 700 billion WANs will be donated to fight epidemics while 300 billion WANs will be donated to protect children from cancer.
Jay Y Lee is the only son of Lee Kun Hee who owns less than one percent of Samsung Electronics but is the largest shareholder of Samsung C&T Corp with 17 percent. JY Lee, 52, is set to replace his father as chairman of Samsung Electronics but was jailed again in January in a bribery case.
What is Samsung Group?
Samsung Group is not only one of the largest groups in South Korea but also in Asia and one of the largest companies in the world. The Samsung Group was started in 1940 and initially started trading and later started services in the construction sector.
Within a few years, the group grew and began to form companies in the fashion and other fields, including textiles and electronics. The group’s well-known area in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has been named Samsung, and most people around the world are unaware of the secret that Samsung has a well-known area in Seoul.
Other companies currently operating include Samsung Electronics, Samsung Engineering, Samsung C&T, Samsung Heavy Industries, Samsung Life Insurance, and Samsung Fire & Marine.
Lee Jae Yong vice chairman of the group wants to inherit all the companies. The Samsung Group was started by Lee Byung-chu, the grandfather of Lee Jae Yong, whose son and father of the current vice-chairman, Lee Kun Hee, became the group’s chairman.