To pay the $ 12 billion tax, the descendants of the Samsung family may have to borrow from a bank, or sell Lee Kun-hee’s expensive collection of paintings.
In 1982, the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat painted it Untitled, one of the most expensive paintings in the world. That same year, the son of Samsung founder Lee Kun-hee (who passed away in October 2020) spent billions of dollars to join the semiconductor business. The investment makes the South Korean company one of the largest chip makers in the world.
Although in two separate places, Basquiat and Lee have an interesting connection. Work Untitled Basquiat’s is located in Samsung’s art museum, which can help Lee’s wife and children pay up to his inheritance tax 12 billion USD.
The Samsung family can sell Mr. Lee Kun-hee’s paintings to pay inheritance tax. Photo: ET.
According to the Financial TimesThis is possibly the largest tax a family pays in the history of inheritance law. It also shows that the gap between rich and poor in Korea is widening.
“Society has made them so rich. People like us cannot imagine how rich they are,” said Chang Sung-ja, a 56-year-old man in the southern city of Suncheon.
However, when the deadline was almost over, the family descendants Samsung has not yet said how to pay taxes. The detention of Lee Jae-yong, son Lee Kun-hee in January on bribery charges further complicates the Samsung family’s relationship with the public.
Park Ju-geun, CEO of analytics firm Score, predicts that the Samsung family can use the form of tax payment in five years. In the first phase, the money will be paid through a bank loan, the collateral is Lee’s descendants’ shares in Samsung. The family may then have to divest some of the shares in the company, the prospect of reducing their influence in the corporation.
Another possibility offered by Park is donating, or selling Mr. Lee’s paintings through charitable funds. Lee’s collection of paintings is estimated to have about 13,000 paintings worth an estimated value 2.7 billion USD. Next UntitledThe gallery also has works from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol or Mark Rothko.
Chung Joon-mo, the head of the Korean art appraisal center, advocates for tax breaks if the artwork is donated by Mr. Lee to state museums.
However, some people objected to donating paintings instead of paying taxes. “Why not pay taxes with cash? They have a lot of money,” said Im Han-kyu, a cleaning worker, who said that this will not have a big impact on the life of the Samsung family, because money will still generate money.
In Korea, Samsung still has a solid backing. Many monks and business leaders have called for Lee Jae-yong’s release through the presidential amnesty. Meanwhile, selling paintings to pay taxes could help the Samsung family emphasize their contributions to society, calling on the public to accept the third generation of corporate leaders.
According to the Zing / Financial Times
Samsung reported record profit
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