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Elon Musk Claims He'll Be Paying $11 Billion In Taxes This Year

Hannah Blackiston

Published 

Elon Musk Claims He'll Be Paying $11 Billion In Taxes This Year

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will be paying around $11 billion in taxes this year, which he claims it more than 'any American in history'.

He made the declaration in response to Senator Elizabeth Warren's allegation that he's 'freeloading' off everyone else.

Musk has sold off a large amount of stock options this year, which he will have to pay the substantial tax bill.

In 2012, Musk was granted 22.9 million Tesla stock options, of which he has exercised almost 15 million so far.

The remaining 7.9 million will expire in August 2022.

He has also sold a large chunk of Tesla shares to meet his tax obligations.

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.

Back in 2012 when he first received the stock options, the shares sat at a strike price of $6.24.

As of last week, Tesla shared sat at $1,222.09 - a gain of just under $28 billion USD for Musk's options.

As he exercises those stock options, Musk has to pay tax on the gains, which is what has caused this bill that some outlets are predicting could push close to $15 billion.

Musk himself has said his tax bill will be around $11 billion.

The US' Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn't publicly disclose the tax information of individuals, so it's hard to tell if Musk is paying the biggest tax bill in history, but his wealth currently sits at $255 billion USD so even if he has to fork out $15 billion, he won't be hurting.

Warren hit out at Musk after he was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year, tweeting: "Let's change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else."

He hit back, saying: "You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend's angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason. Please don't call the manager on me, Senator Karen."

Musk is currently the richest person in the world, having taken the spot in January from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The two have gone back and forth on the top spot, depending on the price of Tesla shares.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: tesla, elon musk, News

Hannah Blackiston
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