Men more often inherit their parents' assets than women, given that they pay more gift tax. Gift tax is levied on inheritances passed on while testators are still alive to avoid inheritance tax.
According to the National Tax Service statistics announced Monday, 83,026 people paid nearly W1.78 trillion in gift tax last year on W12.82 trillion in assets they inherited. Men accounted for 67.9 percent of the taxpayers while women represented 32.1 percent. Men inherited some W8.8 trillion, more than double the W4 trillion women were given.
Many men receive their inheritance in their 30s or 40s while many women receive it when they are under 10 or over 60. The largest number of men received the taxed gifts between 40 and 49. Of the 40-something people who paid gift taxes in the age bracket, men accounted for 71.9 percent. "Men usually receive their inheritance from their parents when they are middle-aged and have their own families," an NTS official said.
But this is not the case with women. Some 43.8 percent of recipients under 10 who paid gift taxes were girls, and women made up 42.4 percent of gift taxpayers aged 60 or older. "With a changing society, more grandparents give financial gifts to their granddaughters," the official said. "And an increasing number of older women inherit from their husbands."
The figures demonstrate lingering patriarchal traces in Korean society, but the considerable presence of girls in the under-10 group also suggests that things are changing.