back to article Samsung family sells $2B worth of shares to pay inheritance tax bill

Heirs of Samsung patriarch billionaire Lee Kun-hee are selling approximately US$2 billion (2.6 trillion won) of company shares, reportedly to help pay off the inheritance tax due after his 2020 death. Aerial view of Samsung equipment in Gohyeon near South Korea's port city of Busan Aerial view of Samsung equipment in Geoje …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It's good to know the business is in safe hands.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    I thought Samsung already owned the SK government

    Why do they have to pay again ?

  3. Charles Bu

    No way

    They actually did something legal?

  4. Erik Pedersen
    Thumb Up

    This is wonderful news. Granted, the company has faced several ethics concerns, as El Reg has pointed out (, but for a country to apply an effective 39 percent tax vill on the inheritors of personal wealth will do a lot to help root out systemic inequality. The U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, and the EU should do the same, whilst cracking down on offshore tax havens that allow individuals to shelter wealth stolen from the citizens of real countries.

  5. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    Inheritance tax is one of the most regressive taxes there is, even with thresholds that may apply. And it's effectively a double tax, since the income that generated the inheritance in the first place was (or should have been) already taxed. Much, much fairer to tax income and remove all the loopholes that enable the rich to avoid it.

    Fairer still would be if everyone paid the same flat rate. How is it fair that someone who works longer, or is more highly skilled, or both, pays more than someone else? But that's a whole other can of worms.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Erik Pedersen

      > Inheritance tax is one of the most regressive taxes there is — Jimmy2Cows

      Inheritance tax can be made very fair by exempting, say, the first $5 million or so, which is more than any normal, honest human will acquire in a lifetime. Rapacious billionaire robber barons should be cut down to size, and people who own a family farm, for instance, would not have to sell off land parcels.

      I agree with Jimmy2Cows that income should be taxed in a steeply progressive way, with perhaps a 90 percent top marginal rate, as applied in the U.S. during the Eisenhower administraiton.

      As to inadequately taxed and accumulated wealth, Bill Gates and his former wife, Melinda, have set a good example by promising to give away the majority of their accumulated wealth before their deaths, but short of a tax on inherited wealth, how else can society combat the evil of unearned wealth held by greedsters that does nothing useful in society?

      Flat rate taxes are an invention of the moneyed class and are extremely regressive.This has been a project of the Republicans in the U.S., and they have nearly succeeded in their perverse goal. Only a steeply progressive, logarithmically increasing tax, will enable the poor and the middle class to thrive while adequately confiscating a sufficient amount of the surplus wealth that would otherwise not serve any useful purpose in supporting educaton that is free to the student , and health care that is free to the patient.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        The only real argument against inheritance tax is it hurts family owned business.

        If Jones+Son, a small precision engineering company is family owned and Jones dies, 'Son' has to sell 50% of the company to a rapacious capitalist Private Equity Firm and the company is soon destroyed when they do the normal PE stuff. The alternative is to float Jones+Son so you can sell individual shares, or borrow against them - but then you are paying $$$/year in accounting costs just to be listed for no real benefit.

        For rich companies you just form a "charity" with the family being on the board and collecting a "salary", so IKEA and Rolex are charities and never pay any tax.

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