Samsung's Lee family set to pay over $10 billion inheritance taxes

Samsung's Lee family set to pay over $10 billion inheritance taxes

The Lee family’s inheritance tax bill is one of the largest ever globally and in Korea both.

The family of deceased Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee on Wednesday said that they would pay over $10.78 billion (12 trillion won) in inheritance taxes for his estate.

Lee passed away away on October 25 and was largely credited with the transformation of Samsung into a global tech leader. Under him, Samsung became the world’s largest smartphone and memory chip maker. Part of the estate includes shareholdings in Samsung affiliates amounting to over $17 billion.

Samsung's Lee family set to pay over $10 billion inheritance taxes
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The Lee family’s inheritance tax bill is one of the largest ever globally and in Korea both. The family’s handling of the bill is being watched closely for it could lead the family losing controlling stake in the company. Reuters reported that the family has considering using shares in affiliated companies as collateral for personal loans to pay for the tax bill.

This would ensure that their extensive Samsung holdings are not sold off.

The family put out a statement on Wednesday but did not reveal how Lee’s shares will be distributed among the heirs and whether any of these shares would be sold. The family is expected to use dividends from their own as well as Lee’s shareholdings to pay part of the tax, many analysts believe.

Lee’s shareholdings include a 4.18 per cent stake in Samsung Electronics, 0.08 per cent of Samsung Electronics preferred shares, 20.76 per cent of Samsung Life Insurance, 2.88 per cent of Samsung C&T, and 0.01 per cent stake in Samsung SDS.

According to South Korean tax code valuation, these all are worth over $17 billion (18.96 trillion won).

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