World’s Richest Man, Elon Musk, Is Finally Going to Pay Some Damn Tax

elon musk tax

Elon Musk, the definition of a Very Online Person, is finally going to pay some god damn tax after getting into a lengthy Twitter debate about his finances.

It’s no secret that Musk is somewhat insecure about the vast, vast amounts of wealth he presides over as he recently got into a separate battle with the World Food Programme about whether or not he could end world hunger (hint, we worked out that he very much could).

Last week, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that Musk should “actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else,” following that up with a series of pointed tweets aimed at the ultra-wealthy and getting them to pay their fair share.

Musk responded in a very mature and level headed way by telling Warren that if she “opened her eyes for 2 seconds” she would realise he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”.

“Don’t spend it all at once… oh wait you already did,” added Musk. He then followed up the tweet with some pretty misogynistic language, pointing to the debate around Warren’s Native American heritage — a key point of attack for former US President Donald Trump, who referred to her as “Pocahontas” — and called her “Senator Karen”.

This week, Musk clarified his claims by saying that he will pay over USD $11 billion in taxes this year.

The Tesla CEO and founder of SpaceX has been accused of paying $0 in taxes in 2018, and minuscule amounts in other years, despite sitting on a fortune of close to USD $300 billion.

In response to a Twitter poll he conducted in November, partially in response to the World Food Programme debate, Musk sold off 10% of his holdings in Tesla as 60% of the respondents told him to do.

Taxes on that sale would amount to around USD $11 or $12 billion, however, the eccentric billionaire would likely have had to sell some of his stock anyway in order to pay tax on share options that are set to expire next year.

Many of America’s most wealthy citizens pay no tax as their wealth is in the ownership of their companies. Instead, they take out loans, which can’t be taxed, to use as salary, with their stocks and shares used as collateral.

This practice, and the wealth of Musk and fellow business eccentrics like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has become something of a hot topic for US Democrats who are hoping to reform tax legislation to include unrealised gains in share and stock increases as taxable income. The attempt to reform the tax system has stalled in Congress but Democrats are hoping to push it through next year.

Tesla stock price dropped by almost 25% in response to Musk’s tweet about selling shares and declined a further 3% on Monday in reaction to this latest tweet.

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