Samsung family to give away thousands of artworks including Picassos and Dalis and pay huge tax bill

Peony Hirwani
·2-min read
<p>File image: A Samsung flag and South Korean national flag flutter at the company’s Seocho building in Seoul</p> (Getty Images)

File image: A Samsung flag and South Korean national flag flutter at the company’s Seocho building in Seoul

(Getty Images)

The heirs of the Samsung family will pay 12 trillion won (£7.7 trillion) and donate rare artworks to help pay off a massive inheritance tax following the death of chairman Lee Kun-Hee in 2020.

The family said it planned to pay the bill over five years in six instalments, starting this month.

“It is our civic duty and responsibility to pay all taxes,” the family said in a statement.

The family said it planned to donate 23,000 pieces from late Lee’s personal collection to two state-run museums as well as provide billions in spending for South Korea’s healthcare system.

The art collection incorporates books, old Korean paintings, and works of Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali among others.

About half of the money will likewise be used to help finance the establishment of a new, 150-bed hospital providing specialized treatment for infectious diseases.

About 300 billion of the funds will go into a decade-long programme with the Seoul National University Children’s Hospital to help families pay for the therapy of youngsters with cancer and other uncommon diseases while support clinical trials and drug development.

The late Lee Kun-hee, patriarch of the Samsung family, died in October. He reportedly owned 4.18 per cent of Samsung Electronics, and the payable sum will be more than three times the nation’s total estate tax revenue for 2020.

Collecting money for this payment is significant for the family if they want to continue keeping control over Samsung’s business realm reaching out from cell phones, TV, construction, semiconductors, insurance, and shipbuilding.

Most market analysts believe that Lee’s offers will be conveyed in a manner that would reinforce the authority of his solitary child and corporate beneficiary, Lee Jae-Yong, the true head of Samsung Electronics who is at present serving a jail term over bribery and other violations.

Lee’s other children are Lee Boo-jin, CEO of Samsung’s Shilla luxury hotel chain, and Lee Seo-hyun, who heads the Samsung Welfare Foundation.

“Members of the [Lee family] hope to honour the life of the late Chairman Lee and his commitment to corporate citizenship and co-prosperity by giving back to communities,” Samsung said.

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