Deceased Samsung Electronics chairman to pay over $10 billion in tax

Lee Kun-hee was born quietly on the 9th January, 1942, in Uiryeong-gun, South Korea. No one could have known then the impact this man would make on the future of the world, transforming our lives through our interaction with technology. The world has seen exponential growth in how we use technology, and it has seeped into every corner of our lives. Lee Kun-hee was one man with a large responsibility for the development of the tech sector and mobile internet use around the world. 

Lee Kun-hee was the chairman of Samsung Electronics, and credited with its huge and successful growth over the last several decades. Samsung is now one of the world’s leading smartphone developers and maker of memory chips. Upon passing away on the 25th October, 2020, Kun-hee’s family have been busy working out with the Samsung cooperation how best to divide up Kun-hee’s stakeholder share of the company. 

Following his death, Kun-hee’s wealth has been estimated at over $23.4 billion United States Dollars. Now, the Korean government is asking for $10.78 billion of that money in inheritance tax. The lawsuit is playing out and being watched across the world as it is a landmark case in the subject of inheritance tax

The family have kept quiet so far about how Kun-hee’s inheritance will be spread amongst his surviving family members. According to news reports they are keen to try and retain a stakeholder share in the Samsung company, and may be able to use their own private assets to foot the tax bill instead. 

Whilst the family might be keen to retain a dominant stake in Samsung Electronics, experts in the tech industry have warned the future might not be so bright for the company. 

The family will also be making large scale donations with the inheritance left by Kun-hee, even establishing a research centre in South Korea for the prevention and study  of infectious diseases.