10-year payment plans for inheritance tax, KCCI suggests
Executives from some of Korea's largest companies and the chair of the most powerful lobbying group in the country are asking the tax authorities to offer longer payment plans for settling inheritance tax bills.
Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Chey Tae-won delivered a set of policy recommendations regarding tax-related activities during a Thursday meeting at the chamber with Kim Dae-ji, head of the National Tax Service (NTS).
Other participants included Rhee In-yong, corporate relations president at Samsung Electronics, Kong Young-woon, president at Hyundai Motor and Lee Bang-soo, president at LG Corp. They are also vice chairmen of the KCCI.
The business leaders called for the tax agency to lengthen the period in which installments can be paid from five years to ten years.
They also suggested a liberalization of payments using securities, including shares, bonds and banknotes.
Presently, the law allows for in-kind payment only when the value of the securities and properties account for more than half of the entire estate.
The requests came as the beneficiaries of Lee Kun-hee's estate are in the process of paying the 12 trillion won ($11 billion) inheritance tax.
Chairman Chey also called for the establishment of a taskforce at the tax agency dedicated to dealing with high-stakes court cases concerning inheritance tax payments.
"A number of lawsuits stem from differing interpretations of laws by public servants and tax payers," Chey said during the meeting. The task force "will be able to identify controversial issues and provide clear explanations, which will greatly facilitate the payment."
The head of the NTS struck a conciliatory tone, although he refrained from directly responding the proposals.
Kim vowed to keep the frequency of tax audits on par with last year.
"To support the economic recovery at the tax management level, we will cut the number of tax audits to the level seen last year," Kim said, adding that the agency will set up a digital platform where businesses can file tax-related information to reduce the length of on-site tax inspections.
The NTS will also exempt small- and medium-sized companies from regular tax audits if the companies create many jobs, according to Kim.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]