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Elon Musk Donates Over $5.5 Billion To Charity

Rebecca Shepherd

Published 
| Last updated 

Elon Musk Donates Over $5.5 Billion To Charity

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Elon Musk donated more than $5 billion (£3.6bn) in Tesla shares to charity in November 2021.

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla gifted the $5.7 billion (based on the closing prices of Tesla shares) between 19 November and 29 November last year, according to documentation from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Credit: SEC
Credit: SEC

The filing didn't disclose the name of the charity but it comes after Musk - the world's richest man - sold $16.4 billion (£12bn) worth of shares.

Because Musk doesn't take a salary or cash bonus from Tesla, the stock options are part of his compensation plan, meaning his wealth comes from stock awards and the gains in the Tesla share price.

He said on Twitter that he would pay more than $11 billion (£8bn) in taxes in 2021 due to his exercise of stock options set to expire this year.

According to Reuters, analysts said there would be a tax benefit for Musk potentially gifting Tesla stock, since shares donated to charity are not subject to capital gains tax, as they would be if sold.

Bob Lord, an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies who studies tax policy, explained: "His tax benefit would be huge.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"He'd save between 40 percent and 50 percent of the $5.7 billion in tax, depending on whether he could take the deduction against his California income and he'd avoid the gains tax he would have to pay if he sold the stock."

When it comes to the tax he pays, Musk has publicly defended himself on social media. Back in December, Elizabeth Warren tried to dig him out when he was announced at Time's Person of the Year.

Warren, a US politician, wrote on Twitter: "Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else."

And Musk hit back, saying: "And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year."

He then added: "Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already."

He went on: "You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason."

Topics: Celebrity, Elon Musk

Rebecca Shepherd
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