Family of late Samsung Chair Lee Kun-hee ‘to foot hefty inheritance tax bill’

By Luke Barras-hill |

The family of former Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee are to pay inheritance tax tipped at more than KRW12 trillion/$10.7 billion on his estate.

While not confirming the exact amount due, a spokesperson from Samsung Group told TRBusiness today (28 April) that ‘a commitment would be made’ to pay the bill following the October death of Lee, credited with transforming the technology firm into the powerhouse it is today.

Despite the circulation of a statement purportedly from the Lee family and carried by international media, the spokesperson told TRBusiness that an official statement on the matter was yet to be released externally or internally.

Lee Kun-hee passed away on 25 October. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Cheong Wa Dae.


It is unclear whether the development could result in the dilution of the family’s controlling stake, or if shares in the tech giant would be redistributed or sold.

South Korea travel retail giant The Shilla Duty Free is one of a number of affiliated Samsung Group companies.

A report from Reuters suggests the bill would be paid over a period of five years in six instalments.

However, Samsung did not comment on the timing of the payments, stating more information would be announced at the end of April.

Media reports have claimed that Lee’s art collection would be donated to the National Museum of Korea and other institutions to reduce the liability in a country known for its high inheritance tax rates.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and de-facto leader of the Group Lee Jae-yong is currently in prison after being sentenced to two-and-a-half-years by the High Court in January following a retrial of the bribery case involving previous South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

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