Wed, 19 May 2021

SEOUL, South Korea: The family of Samsung founder Lee Kun-Hee will pay an inheritance tax bill of $11 billion by donating 22,000 works of art.

Among the works of art are those by Picasso and Dali.

Additionally, the Lee family will need to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to medical projects and research, as part of a multi-year plan to inherit both the wealth and corporate power of South Korea's wealthiest businessman.

The Lee family, made up of Lee Kun-Hee's widow and three children, are believed to be facing a bill of $10.8 billion in inheritance taxes, which is more than half of what Lee held in stocks and real estate, according to Samsung.

This would be the largest inheritance tax ever collected in South Korea, and more than three times the country's total estate tax revenue for last year.
By donating Lee's collection of art masterpieces, the family would reduce the taxable portions of his estate.

"It is our civic duty and responsibility to pay all taxes," the Lee family said in a statement. They had until April 23 to report the value of the inheritance and plans to pay the taxes.

The Lee family now controls businesses ranging from semiconductors, smartphones and TVs to construction, shipbuilding and insurance.

Lee owned 4.18% of Samsung Electronics, one of the world's largest manufacturers of computer memory chips and smartphones, along with stakes in Samsung affiliates. They also exercised control over appointments to the corporation's board of directors.

Plans call for donating 23,000 art pieces from Lee's collection to two state-run museums. These include old Korean paintings, books and other pieces designated as national treasures.

There are also the works of Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali, Samsung said.

The Lee family will also donate $900 million to fund infectious disease research and treatment for children with cancer and rare illnesses.

Additionally, Lee money will be used to help fund a 150-bed hospital providing specialized treatment for infectious diseases.

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