The case of one of the most expensive inheritance taxes in history

The case of one of the most expensive inheritance taxes in history

The heirs of the latest Samsung president will pay the Korean tax authorities the equivalent of € 8.9 billion and donate 23,000 works of art, including Picasso and Monet

(Photo: Getty Images) The family of the latest president of Samsung announced a multi-year plan to pay one of the largest inheritance taxes in history: the heirs of Lee Kun-hee, who died at 78 last October from the consequences of a debilitating heart attack in 2014, will have to pay to the Seoul Treasury a record figure of over 12 thousand billion won (8.9 billion euros). "Paying all taxes is our civic duty and responsibility," said the family. The only child Jay Y. Lee, 52, will not be able to supervise the plan, however, as he is in jail for a conviction in a corruption case, which overwhelmed the former president of South Korea Park Geun-hye, removed with impeachment in the 2017.

According to various sources, Lee Kun-hee's bequest amounts to between 17.3 and 19.3 billion euros, but the inheritance tax in South Korea is one of the largest in the world, 50% when exceeding 3 billion won (2.2 million euros). However, the law allows payments to be made within five years, so the Lee family will use six installments to meet the burden, which is worth three to four times the state income from property taxes. The Korean tax department also adds a 20% levy when passing on the shares owned by the main shareholder. Kun-hee's fortune includes shares in four units of Samsung: 4.2% in the Electronics business, 20.76% in Samsung Life Insuramce, 2.8% in C&T, 0.01% in Samsung SDS and one 0, 08% in other shares.

The family will pay the tax by financing it with stock dividends and bank loans. However, it has decided to certify its commitment to the public by donating one trillion won (744.1 million euros) to medical facilities over ten years, as well as a collection of 23,000 Western works of art. and Korean that boasts names of the caliber of Marc Chagall, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. Of these, 60 are referred to as "national treasures" or "treasures", and will eventually enrich the heritage of national museums.

Heir Jay Y. Lee, had to return to prison in January by decision of the Supreme Court, in a case of corruption conviction that had overwhelmed the former South Korean president. Samsung is the main industrial conglomerate in the country and, according to the allegations worth two trials, Jay Y. Lee would have operated incorrectly to favor the merger of two units of the galaxy, to consolidate its control over the entire "chaebol", the name with which the most influential economic organizations in the country are designated. The heiress should have taken command of the colossus after the death of his father, who in turn took office in 1987 at the helm of the colossus founded by the forefather Lee Byung Chul.

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