Elon Musk sold Tesla shares worth $1 billion nearing the 10% target
The billionaire also exercised a call option on 1.6 million shares of Tesla at a price of $6.24 as part of a compensation package agreed in 2012. Currently, the value per share is $1,077.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk’s stake in Tesla is now around 177 million shares, while Forbes estimates the businessman is the richest man in the world, with an estimated fortune of $275 billion.
Elon Musk is not paid for his roles as CEO of Tesla or the aerospace company SpaceX, instead opting to be paid in shares of both companies.
This decision allowed the businessman not to pay taxes on his wealthy wealth, because in the United States taxpayers only pay taxes on their income or when they sell stocks.
In early November, Musk released a poll of his 62.5 million Twitter followers to find out what they thought he might reduce his stake in Tesla by selling shares.
“There has been a lot of talk about unrealized gains as a way to avoid paying taxes, so I propose to sell 10% of my shares in Tesla. Do you support?” Musk asked.
As a result, a majority of the answers were “yes”, following the multimillionaire’s sale of shares, for the sum of 14 billion dollars.
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Musk conducted the inquiry before a series of stock options on the company’s shares, which he received in 2012 as payment for his duties as CEO of Tesla, expired in August 2022.
If he had waited for 2022, Musk would have had to pay higher taxes.
Several specialized media have pointed out that Musk finances his lifestyle with loans he gets, backed by Tesla shares, which allows him to reduce his tax returns.
This year, news organization ProPublica published a report in which it revealed that Musk paid $455 million in taxes between 2014 and 2018, despite its assets having increased by $13.9 billion in that period.
And in 2018 it did not pay federal taxes.
In 2020, Musk moved his official residence from Los Angeles, California, where he has lived for the past 20 years, to Austin, Texas, change that reduces the taxes he pays.
And, in October, Musk announced that he will transfer Tesla’s headquarters, from Palo Alto, also in California, to Austin, which he justified with the high cost of living in the Californian location.