Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), tweeted on Monday that he will have to pay more than $11 billion in taxes this year, which might very well be the biggest tax bill in history. The billionaire’s Twitter post arrives after shedding around 6.5 million shares in a series of moves since early November.
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“The Biggest Tax Bill In History”
Elon Musk tweeted on Monday, “For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year,” catching the attention of the world of finance. According to CNBC, the noted entrepreneur faces a hefty tax bill on Tesla stock options.
The amount of shares sold so far is estimated at $14 billion, with the media outlet anticipating a $12 billion tax bill for this year. According to a ProPublica investigation, the automotive mogul paid no federal income taxes in 2018.
CNBC reports that “Stock options Musk was awarded in 2012 are set to expire in August next year. In order to exercise them, he has to pay income tax on the gain.”
Musk had gone on to Twitter to poll his followers about whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stake, with the majority of voters in favor. Despite the stunt, it is believed Musk had already started the massive sell-off.
Tax Avoidance Claims
Elon Musk’s tax payments —and those of other billionaires— have drawn a great deal of attention in recent months due to their ability to legally pay little to no income despite their massive fortunes.
Amid the controversy, Musk had a Twitter rift with Senator Elizabeth Warren after she took aim at the billionaire’s TIME Magazine Person of the Year naming and accused him of “freeloading off everybody else.” Musk hit back, “I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.”
He later added, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend's angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.” Musk is worth $244 billion at present and has exchanged several blows with Democrats under allegations of tax avoidance.
Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.