It shouldn’t be surprising that the richest man in the world is paying the most taxes, but billionaires have been known to go through legal loopholes to avoid paying their fair share. Now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he will be paying a whopping US$11 billion (~RM46.4 billion) in taxes this year alone, which is close to an earlier US$12 billion (~RM50.6 billion) estimate and what CNBC claims is the single largest tax bill in US history.
After being criticised last week by a US Senator for not paying any taxes, Musk responded by saying that he’ll be paying more taxes than any American in history this year. He seems to be making good on that statement after selling off more than US$14 billion (~RM59 billion) worth of Tesla stock in November.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
The Tesla CEO seemingly sold the shares after putting up a Twitter poll, where users voted in favour of him selling 10% of his Tesla holdings. While as noble as it may initially seem, observers pointed out that he would have had to sell them anyway as they were due to expire in August 2022.
Musk does not get paid a salary, so his wealth comes from his stocks. With Tesla’s stock price surging this year and becoming one of the few companies in the world with a market cap higher than US$1 trillion (~RM4.2 trillion), the CEO temporarily became the first person in history to be worth over US$300 billion (~RM1.26 trillion).
An investigation by ProPublica revealed that Elon Musk and other billionaires paid zero federal income taxes in 2018, though the Tesla CEO said that this was because he overpaid the year before. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Musk is currently worth over US$243 billion (~RM1.025 trillion).