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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter he will pay more than $11bn in taxes in 2021, an amount that could constitute a record payment to the US Internal Revenue Service. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter he will pay more than $11bn in taxes in 2021, an amount that could constitute a record payment to the US Internal Revenue Service. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person and CEO of Tesla, said on Twitter he’ll pay more than $11bn in taxes in 2021, an amount that could constitute a record payment to the US Internal Revenue Service.

The billionaire may face a tax bill of more than $10bn for 2021 if he exercises all his options due to expire in 2022, calculations last week by Bloomberg News showed.

The unusually high levy comes after Musk exercised almost 15-million options and sold millions of shares to cover the taxes related to those transactions. That was following a Twitter poll in November when he asked followers whether he should sell 10% of his stake in the electric carmaker, whose shares have rocketed more than 2,300% over the past five years.

Since the unusual move to ask Twitter users about the plan, Tesla has declined nearly a quarter and the company’s market value has slid back below the $1-trillion mark to $937bn. The shares were 2.7% lower in premarket trading on Monday compared with Friday’s close in New York.

A report by ProPublica in June said Musk paid little income tax relative to his outsize wealth. But he’s pushed back against that characterisation, saying he doesn’t draw a salary from either SpaceX or Tesla, and pays an effective tax rate of 53% on stock options he exercises. He added that he expects that tax rate to increase in 2022.

Musk earlier in December said he’ll pay more taxes than any American in history in 2021. That was in response to another tweet from Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who used Musk’s Time Magazine “Person of the Year” accolade to call him out on his taxes.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
Bloomberg

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