Lee Jae-yong, co-vice chairman of Samsung Electronics (left) wears a protective mask as he arrives at the Seoul High Court on 18 January 2021.

Image: Getty

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and other family members of the late Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee will pay over 12 trillion won, or around $10.8 billion, in taxes related to inheritance.

The family plans to pay the full amount over a period of five years in six installments, starting this month, Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday. The legal deadline for the family to file the tax return was this Friday.

The amount is the largest-ever inheritance tax bill in South Korea. The estate of the late chairman, who passed away at 78 in October last year, includes shareholdings in Samsung Electronics, Samsung Life, and Samsung C&T, as well as real estate.

The inheritance bill is more than half the value of the late Lee’s total estate, the tech giant said. South Korea charges as much as 60% for inherited shares for large shareholders.

Samsung didn’t specify how these will be distributed among the family members.

However, it is likely that the majority of the late chairman’s stakes in Samsung affiliates will go to his only son Lee Jae-yong, who has been the de facto leader of the entire business group since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.

The younger Lee is currently serving a prison sentence for bribery and standing trial over a separate indictment over alleged stock price manipulation.

Meanwhile, the late chairman’s personal art collection of around 23,000 pieces will be donated to various national organisations, Samsung said.

These include works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin as well as Claude Monet, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali. They also include works by Korean artists Kim Whanki, Park Soo-keun, Lee Jung-seop and Chang Ucchin. These will be donated to South Korea’s national museum for modern art.

The Lee family will also donate around 1 trillion won for various philanthropic causes.

Around 700 billion won of that will be spent to help with efforts to respond to infectious diseases — 500 billion won will use to build a specialist hospital and 200 billion won for a laboratory to support research into vaccines and treatment.

The remaining 300 billion won will be spent as medial expenses for children suffering from cancer and rare diseases.

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