’Bequeathing before death is undertaxed‘: lawmaker

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 5, 2016 - 17:04
  • Updated : Oct 5, 2016 - 18:21
Over 26,000 Koreans under the age of 18 inherited a combined 3.4 trillion won ($3.05 billion) from their living parents over the past five years and paid one-fifth of that in taxes, a lawmaker revealed Wednesday.

According to government statistics released by Rep. Park Kwang-on of the main opposition The Minjoo Party of Korea, on average an underage heir received 116 million won in inheritance. Some 24 million won of that went into state coffers as taxes, a real levy rate of just around 20.9 percent, versus the country’s maximum rate of 50 percent. 
“Inheritance before death is clearly undertaxed. Only 45 percent of the recipients pay a penny in taxes,” the lawmaker claimed in a press release.

Slightly more than a third of the inherited fortune, or 1.1 trillion won, was transferred in the form of financial assets such as bank deposits, the data showed. Another 984 billion won was in property assets, followed by stocks and other securities.