SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) — The scions of Samsung Group, South Korea’s top conglomerate, are likely to unveil a plan this week on how to finance their massive inheritance tax, which includes the donation of late group chief Lee Kun-hee’s art collections.
The senior Lee, who was South Korea’s richest man, left more than 22 trillion won (US$19.6 billion) worth of assets, including stocks valued around 19 trillion won.
Lee, who died in October last year at age 78, was survived by his wife, Hong Ra-hee, only son, Jae-yong, and two daughters — Boo-jin and Seo-hyun.
Lee’s family members are expected to pay around 12 trillion won in inheritance taxes for the late chief’s assets.
They have to report and pay inheritance taxes to local authorities by the end of this month.
For the senior Lee’s artworks, believed to be worth 2-3 trillion won, Lee’s family reportedly decided to donate some of the artworks to local museums.
The late group chief is estimated to have owned about 13,000 art pieces, including national treasures and paintings from renowned artists, like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Industry insiders speculated that Lee’s family may opt to pay inheritance taxes in installments. They can pay one-sixth of inherited assets by the end of this month and pay the rest over the next five years.
Lee’s family members may have to spend about 2 trillion won annually for their inheritance tax bills and are likely to pay the tax bill with their stock dividends.
According to corporate tracker CEO Score, Lee and his family members received more than 1.3 trillion won in dividends last year, which included special cash dividend payouts from Samsung Electronics Co., the group’s crown jewel.
To pay out the remainder, Lee’s family is reportedly seeking to get bank loans, offering their stocks as collateral.’