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Hotel Shilla faces tax audit: officials

April 5, 2011 - 19:00 By 김지현
The National Tax Service has launched an inspection into Hotel Shilla, led by Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee’s eldest daughter Lee Boo-jin, officials said Tuesday.

The first tax inquiry into the company since 2006 is expected to focus on recent business developments, including its successful negotiations with Louis Vuitton to open a store for the French designer brand in Incheon International Airport.

Shilla is currently enmeshed in a legal skirmish with Lotte Duty Free, which earlier this year filed a court injunction against the airport for handing Shilla improper favors.

The tax office declined to comment on the exact focus of the investigation, saying it was a regular inspection and that it was not authorized to comment regarding probes on specific enterprises. The Seoul Regional Tax Office will be holding the reins in the investigation.

Lee Boo-jin became president of Hotel Shilla in December, along with her siblings Lee Jae-yong and Lee Seo-hyun, who were also promoted to high posts. Jae-yong, the only son of the Samsung Electronics chairman, became a president at Samsung Electronics.

The Samsung children were at the center of attention also for the large dividends they received or are scheduled to take home this year.

The Financial Supervisory Service said on Tuesday that Lee Jae-yong has collected some 13 billion won ($11 million) in cash dividends from his stakes in Samsung Electronics and other affiliates such as Samsung Everland and Samsung SDS.

From Samsung Electronics alone, Lee took home cash dividends of some 8.4 billion won, the regulator said in a regulatory filing.

Lee’s sister Boo-jin, increasingly recognized for an aggressive management style which strongly resembles her father’s and which led to victorious negotiations with Louis Vuitton, will take home more than 4 billion won in cash dividends. The bulk will come from Samsung Petrochemical, which turned its business around in 2009 after slipping into the red for three consecutive years starting in 2006.

By Kim Ji-hyun (