A Monday tweet that read “For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year”, shared by Elon Musk revealed how much the world’s richest man owes in taxes.
The billionaire’s hefty tax bill may possibly rank as the biggest in all of US history. The tax bill is close to an earlier estimate by CNBC which estimated the billionaire’s tax bill to $12 billion for this year.
Following a positive response he got after asking his follower via a Twitter poll if he should sell his Tesla shares, Elon Musk sold off some of his Twitter shares and since November, he has sold off $14 billion worth of Tesla stock.
The stock options the billionaire received in 2012 are set to expire by August 2022 and to be able to exercise them, he’d have to pay income tax on the gain. The CEO mentioned in older tweets that his wealth comes from stock rewards and gains in Tesla share price instead of taking a salary or cash bonus. When the billionaire wants cash, all he needs to do is borrow money using his company’s stock as collateral. However, this practice has been criticized by some politicians as a tax loophole for the super-rich like Elon Musk. According to an investigation by ProPublica, Elon Musk alongside quite a long list of other billionaires paid no federal income tax in 2018. Between 2014 and 2018, Musk paid $455 million in taxes on $1.52 billion of income, according to ProPublica, despite his wealth growing by $13.9 billion over that period.
Although Tesla shares have taken a tumble since Musk’s Twitter poll, they remain super valuable; the stock is up 28% year-to-date.
According to Forbes, Elon Musk is the world’s richest man known. Last week, he fired back at Senator Elizabeth Warren after she questioned Time Magazine’s decision to name him its Person of the Year, tweeting: “I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”.
The billionaire also recently tweeted that he may quit his jobs as CEO and follow his passion for influencing.