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Samsung's Lee family to announce details of its hefty inheritance tax plan Updated: 2021-04-26 16:27:19 KST


The late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was the country's richest man, is known to have left behind about 20 billion U.S. dollars of assets.
This includes his stocks valued at around 17 billion dollars as well as a sizeable chunk of property holdings, his art collection and cash, which combined are estimated at over 2 billion dollars.
The Lee family is expected to pay around 11 to 12 billion U.S. dollars in inheritance taxes, by far the highest amount imposed on a South Korean company.
The Samsung Group heirs have to report and pay their taxes to local authorities by the end of this month and eyes are now on how the family will split the fortune inherited from their father.
By law, his wife, Hong Ra-hee, will inherit the largest share, one third of Lee's wealth, and the three children will each receive two ninths.
However, considering the succession of the Samsung Group, industry sources expect most of the shares to be inherited by Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
When it comes to paying the inheritance taxes, industry insiders speculate that the family may choose to pay in installments.
If so, under the current tax law, they are expected to pay one-sixth of the tax by the end of April and pay the rest over the next five years at an interest rate of 1.2 percent per year.
Some industry watchers say that the massive tax bill could push the family members to sell shares in Samsung units but others play down the idea as share sales could weaken the family's ownership over the conglomerate.
As a result, a more feasible scenario is that the family is likely to pay the tax bill with their stock dividends from Samsung units and use shares as collateral for personal loans to pay off the remainder.
There is also interest over whether Samsung will make a charitable donation, including a large collection of artwork worth two to three billion dollars, which could be donated to state-run museums.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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